AR Technology Awakens Past at Andalusia, Home of Flannery O’Connor

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, May 31st, 2024

Interactive, self-guided grounds tours are now available at Andalusia, allowing visitors to scan a QR code inside the Interpretive Center with their cell phones. This enhances property locations using AR technology to project real-time images and facts about the farmstead for a more in-depth glance into the past.

“This new feature is on the cutting edge of delivery methods for interpretation in this area,” said Matt Davis, director of Historic Museums at Georgia College. “There’s no need to download an app. We’ve removed as many barriers as possible. Technology without barriers is where we want to be.”

By simply scanning a QR code with a smartphone, guests can pull up information about various aspects of the property. For visitors who don’t own a smartphone, iPads are provided.

Pop-up information makes guests feel as if they’re at O’Connor’s old farmstead experiencing the Andalusia of long ago through 3D imagery, panoramic views, videos and sound effects.

As visitors walk where the Nail House once stood, they get a three-dimensional glimpse of the original structure and hear sounds of animals once housed in the pens and runs beside it.

When visitors return home, their Andalusia experience continues. They can resume learning about O’Connor’s home and the grounds with just a click of their phone.

Tours guided by docents continue inside O’Connor’s home. This provides visitors with the traditional interpretive experience at Andalusia, while giving Georgia College students experiential learning opportunities.

“This value-added upgrade, funded by donors, is a remarkable way for guests to interact with Andalusia,” Davis said. “We hope everyone comes to experience Andalusia in 3D.”

The university partnered with BES Studios and ARtGlass to create the tour.

Georgia College & State University acquired the Andalusia homestead in 2017. Already on the list of National Historic Places since 1980, the property was named a "Distinctive Destination" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2019 and a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 2022.

Tours at Andalusia are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for senior citizens and pre-booked groups of ten or more; $2 for non-GCSU students; and free to children under age 6 and all GCSU faculty, staff and students.

For those who can’t visit, there are also virtual and 3D tours online. To learn more, visit the Andalusia website or call 478-445-8722.