Wordsmith (Sanan seppä)

Wordsmith (Sanan seppä) is a cinematic augmented reality experience situated in the Turku Cathedral. It takes the visitors in the Cathedral to the year 1514, that is, to the situation before the reformation. It then represents the changes during the following decades from a viewpoint of a fictional family. The story, written by author Tytti Issakainen, is told by using objects and historical characters digitally added in the church and made visible on tablet computers. The goal for this app has been to create an experience that is both educating and entertaining. The story is told through eight short scenes in which Hemminki, a son of a blacksmith, becomes an assistant of Mikael Agricola and the progenitor of a priest family. Agricola was one of the most important characters of the Finnish reformation, renowned for his printed works that started the spread of literacy among Finnish common people.

The application runs on a tablet computer. The user sees the scenes on the tablet screen through the device camera view where the virtual characters are added. The app can be downloaded free of charge to user’s own Android or iOS tablet, or a tablet can be borrowed from the church entrance. Besides the actual scenes, the app provides information about the characters and events in the story as well as references to background information in the internet.

The application is connected with the marking of the 500th anniversary of the reformation in 2017, and it was created by our team members during the MIRACLE project of the University of Turku, in cooperation with the Turku and Kaarina Parish Union and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The App is available for iOS and Android tablets.