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A Remarkable Journey: The Making of UrWay, Ouray's Augmented Reality Tourism App

Could augmented reality app development change the way we vacation? For visitors heading to Ouray, Colorado, the answer is yes.

Augmented reality app development for tourism example

When we first started discussing the opportunity to develop a new tourism app for Ouray, Colorado, we didn’t quite know where this project would take us. Well, literally, we did know that it would take us to a beautiful mountain town.. And we were already pretty excited about that! More figuratively, though, the augmented reality app development project led to the development of technology that we believe could change the tourism experience for other cities and attractions all over the world.

Futuristic Innovation for a Quaint Colorado Town

Ouray, a charming town nestled in the Colorado mountains, first began searching for a tourism app that would provide them with more control over users’ app experience than they had with their previous app. The town's administration reached out to DAS Labs, California-based AR company with a reputation for their innovative solutions. Their request was simple yet challenging: an app that was cutting-edge, offered them more control, and would revitalize their tourist experience.

DAS Labs’ vision for the project’s direction was unique and innovative – an augmented reality app. It would act as an interactive guide for tourists, and the rich AR interface would allow local businesses to attract visitors in real-time. The town's officials were immediately drawn to this futuristic vision. And with that, the first steps towards the development of the UrWay app were taken.

Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges

The development of UrWay began in the summer of 2022. DAS Labs utilized Google APIs, a reliable and robust foundation that they’d used many times for similar applications in the past. The DAS Labs was making steady progress until May 2023, when they encountered an unexpected roadblock.

Google released an update to their APIs to be more user-friendly for developers. The AR development team at DAS Labs had some mixed feelings about this update: it was a great move overall! But, the timing of the update during UrWay’s development was less-than-idea. Large portions of the augmented reality app development needed to be redone to be compatible with the updated APIs.

The team took this challenge in stride, working tirelessly to adapt to the new API structure and ensure the app's features and functionalities remained intact.

A Vision for Future Tourism

DAS Labs' vision for UrWay was one that would redefine tourism apps. They wanted to create a tool that would empower tourists to interact with their surroundings in a way they never have before.

The Current State of Activity Searching

Right now, if you’re standing at a cross section in an unfamiliar city while on vacation and you’re looking for something to do, your options are a little cumbersome. You can try to find a friendly local that might share your tastes and ask for advice. Or, you can open your phone and type “things to do near me”, and scroll through dozens of options. Once you find one, you’ll need to keep reading to find out what the activity costs, if there is availability today, and if it’s in line with your interests. This could take half an hour or more, at the expense of your precious vacation time.

We Believe in a Better Way

Instead, imagine you could open up the tourism app for the city you’re visiting. By pointing your phone in any direction and using your device’s camera, the AR technology could overlay your field of view with activities, the amount of time it would take for you to walk to each one, pricing, and even today’s availability.

The possibilities are endless – from identifying nearby restaurants, exploring local activities, locating shopping spots to accessing real-time information like booking availability or wait times. All this by simply viewing the world through your device.

This is the future of tourism that UrWay represents. By providing a rich, interactive, and immersive user experience, the AR app hopes to set a new benchmark for tourism apps worldwide.

Join the Augmented Reality Movement

The UrWay app for Ouray is just the beginning! This project has fueled our imaginations, and we are excited about the array of cities and attractions that could benefit from similar software.

Interested in creating your own innovative AR solutions? Request a free consultation with us today.


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