A new nativity scene at Edmonton City Hall has taken the centuries-old Christmas tradition into the realm of computer-generated reality.

The City of Edmonton Augmented Reality app features an interactive digital nativity scene, created by digital media students at NAIT, accessed on a smartphone. Users can zoom in and out, project it onto a large screen, and interact with Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, the Magi, or farm animals in Augmented Reality, a technology that involves integrating virtual models into the real world.

They hear a voice reading from the Gospel of Luke, and nine Christmas carols play in the background. Once the app is downloaded, the nativity scene can be viewed anywhere. Rev. Kevin Kraglund, an Anglican minister and former president of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, provided the Scripture reading and direction to the students.

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