What is The Retroscope?

The Retroscope is a visual time machine, showing people any place, at any point in the past, using the world’s historic images. It houses public, private and personal collections and offers a full social network, enabling individual memories, stories and experience connected to historic images to be shared, collated and stored.

It also allows people to build and fly through three dimensional models of places long gone and, as an Augmented Reality Smartphone application, superimposes the past onto present at any location. The Retroscope also extends to film, recordings, music and objects.

The Retroscope acts as a content aggregator and connects images and other content from private, public and personal collections. Individuals upload personal collections, and The Retroscope has established partnerships with private and public domain collections, and brand collections.

Core provision comes from public domain collections in national, regional and local archives, libraries and museums, as well as collections belonging to bodies such as English Heritage and the National Trust.

The Retroscope provides a number of direct benefits to collection holders:
• increased user statistics and user engagement
• increased sales
• increased contextual information and meta data
• increased customer analysis
• facilitated digitisation

Augmented Reality
The Retroscope also translates from an online system to an Augmented Reality Smartphone application, described as being “like having a time machine in the palm of your hand”. As well as providing the full functionality of the online system, The Retroscope’s Augmented Reality application allows users to scan a location with their smartphone camera to see historic images superimposed on their location.

GPS and Chronological Data is provided through crowdsourcing and through formal curation.

The Retroscope also provides simple and powerful unique 3D modeling techniques, which allow any user to construct 3D models of the past, which give the user the impression of flying through time.

The models can be interlinked to provide a 3D map of the world across time, and can also be used to show in 3D the evolution of a single place, person or subject, across a time span.