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Terracotta Warriors AR - Experience one of the most significant archeological discoveries in history through augmented reality.

The Franklin Institute's Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibition takes the museumgoer on a journey through one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in history: the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi, First Emperor of China.


The Franklin Institute leadership wanted an augmented reality (AR) experience that would allow on-site museum visitors and off-site application users to interact with the 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warrior statues, and transform the way visitors experience museums, from passive to interactive. The accompanying AR application gets you up close to the ancient terracotta statues, armed with weapons and objects from the tomb.


Our team guided the strategy, development, and implementation of the experience, working with curators to digitally recreate objects like swords and spears that were held by the warrior statues. Visitors were able to activate the AR experience of the warriors’ weapons by pointing their phones at the statues or in front of a two-dimensional “anchor” that’s fixed to the interpretive display with each statue.


The Terracotta Warriors AR app demonstrates how our augmented reality solutions can help leverage smartphones to assist in history and science education.

Terracotta Warriors AR has three modes

statue mode

We developed one of the world's first and finest large-scale object tracking experience allowing visitors to view, interact with and learn about the warriors and their virtual weapons via their smartphones.

picture mode

Museum visitors could activate the warriors’ virtual weapons by holding their phones in front of a two-dimensional “anchor” that’s fixed to the interpretive display with each statue.

mobile warriors: create your own army

Build an army of terracotta warriors wherever you are. Take and share screenshots with your family and friends!

what we did

3D modeling

AR experiential design and implementation

art, creative and technical direction

mobile application design and development

subject matter expert interfacing and knowledge transfer

UI and UX design


Yetzer Studio - Terracotta Warriors AR - New York Times article

augmented world expo presentation

Brian Yetzer presented the Terracotta Warriors AR project during the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California.

Brian Yetzer - Terracotta Warriors AR - AWE presentation

Yetzer Studio AR solutions

increase ticket sales and number of visitors


engage through interactivity, making learning individualized and fun

allow for a more memorable and satisfying museumgoer and user experience

verify accuracy made possible by leading historians and scientists

increase "virality" from users sharing AR content on social media

connect the past with the present by allowing people to make the connection via their smartphone

extend creative potential for AR experientials integrating large, complex shapes, not just flat surfaces

gauge experiential effectiveness through the use of analytics

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