OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — It’s been a couple of years since the night Brent Wheelbarger’s daughter Emma asked him for help in studying for a final exam in history.
She warned him it would be boring.
Brent admits, “It was like daggers to the heart. I thought, ‘No! Why would you say that?”
And she was right.
He recalls, “One multiple choice or fill in the blank after another. No context.”
But that experience got Brent thinking, and then go his staff working.
What if he and the other talented minds at Trifecta Communications would come up with a way to make history a little more engaging?
They called their solution Folk Secrets.
“That’s what led us to this idea of a treasure hunt that tied, specifically, to Oklahoma history, that used technology as a way to tell the story.”
Art directors like Kenna Jackson and Shelbi Rosa took old panoramic photos or built whole virtual environments.
Then they constructed digital doorways for users to step through when they got to a particular spot on a map.
Step through the portal and you go back a century.
Look behind you and the door back to the present is still there.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, and drone technology dominated the conversations on the first day of techCenter.
The first demonstration on the first day?
The unveiling of the third season of Folk Secrets.
“There it is,” announces Wheelbarger to a crowd of spectators, “We have just opened a doorway in this room to 1920.”
He continues, “You can walk back in time and then look back through the door and wave to your friends in the present.”
The 21-C Hotel occupies the old Ford Model-T assembly plant on Mains Street Oklahoma City.
The first of several portals opened Friday at noon.
This beats the old fill in the blank work sheet every time.
“We’re teaching history by letting them walk into it,” he says.
Folk Secrets is more than a history lesson.
It’s also a treasure hunt with real cash prizes.
KFOR is one of the official sponsors for this new cell phone app.
To find out more go to www.folksecrets.com