Muscovites have taken some 50,000 selfies with the 3D doubles of famous people. The most popular include the first man in space, Yury Gagarin, rock singer Viktor Tsoi and poet Alexander Pushkin. Some 5,300 users have taken selfies with Gagarin, about 5,100 with Tsoi and 4,800 with Pushkin.
Users can take selfies with 3D characters after they “catch” them with the help of the Know Moscow Photo app. The app compass will show the way.
“The virtual character will appear on the smartphone screen once the user is within 50 metres of it,” Sergei Shakryl, director of the Know Moscow project of the Moscow Department of Information Technology, explained. “Once the 3D double is captured, a selfie can be taken with it; the character can be zoomed in or out or can be rotated 360 degrees.”
The Know Moscow Photo app was launched in the autumn of 2015. It can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. Some 30,000 users have downloaded it. Initially, the app had nine 3D doubles: Viktor Tsoi, Yury Gagarin, Alexander Pushkin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Lomonosov, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.
Three other 3D characters were added this year. They are famous goalie Lev Yashin and writers Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy. Nearly 1,000 [people have taken selfies with them over the past six weeks.
“If a user takes several photographs with the same 3D model, we count them as one photograph,” Sergei Shakryl said.
Using the virtual doubles, the app seeks to interest young people in Moscow’s history and cultural heritage and encourage them to visit the project’s main site Know Moscow, which offers information on more than 1,300 buildings, 128 monuments, 57 museums and 166 sites, as well as biographical details on 206 historical figures. The portal and the app offer users a choice of 60 different themed routes through the city and 25 quests. Information on the sights is offered both in Russian and in English.