Fort Myers, Fla. (August 10, 2017)On Saturday, Aug. 19, IMAG History & Science Center guests will be among the first in 150 years to visit the original fort of Fort Myers, established circa 1856. The new virtual reality (VR) exhibit, Virtual Fort Myers: The Past Meets the Present, brings the fort alive in a fully immersive 3D experience.

IMAG Historian Jim Powers and Executive Director Matt Johnson used historical texts to design the layout of the fort as it first appeared in 1856. IMAG partnered with a talented team of designers and historians at D3 Creative, a design studio in downtown Fort Myers, to recreate the fort in an interactive-3D VR environment.

Guests will experience the place where soldiers and early settlers of Southwest Florida slept, ate and kept watch over the fort. Using their own hands, they will interact with the environment, just like those who originally resided there!

The new IMAG App is also debuting on the 19th. The app is easily downloaded to smartphones to deliver unique VR and augmented reality (AR) experiences with the assistance of Google Cardboard. The app currently provides two VR experiences, including a diving expedition to the USS Mohawk Reef off the coast of Sanibel Island, and a climb to the top of IMAG’s iconic water tower to take in panoramic views of surrounding scenery. The AR experiences include viewing life-like images of the mammals represented by IMAG’s prehistoric fossil exhibits.

Johnson explained that IMAG is beginning to incorporate VR and AR because it is such a powerful tool that has transformed the way people absorb information through immediate engagement and immersive interactions while being suitable for all learning styles.