Tuesday 8 September 2015 3:47 pm

Queen Elizabeth II’s longest reign: Bank notes become interactive for Her Majesty’s celebrations


I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

I'm City A.M.'s award-winning technology editor, covering everything from happenings at Apple and Google to the latest London startup. In particular fintech, blockchain, artifical intelligence, driverless cars, virtual reality and the sharing economy get me out of bed in the morning. I'm always trying to illustrate stories with pictures of dogs. Sometimes with some success. I was named technology journalist of the year at the UK Tech Awards.

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The Queen will become the longest reigning UK monarch in history tomorrow, after taking up her seat on the throne more than half a century ago – but Her Majesty is a thoroughly modern monarch.

Now, the British bank note, featuring Elizabeth II's famous face, will become interactive to celebrate her reign over the country with the help of an augmented reality app.

A simple fiver, tenner, or perhaps £20 note if you're feeling flush, can be brought to life using the Blippar app, letting anyone take a selfie with the Queen.

A simple tap of the app offers up a host of interactive content as well as the selfie taking, including memorable moments of Her Majesty's reign, an illustrated ancestry and the ability to donate to the Queen's charities.

The Bank of England bank notes will be augmented for just the next four days, in the week that Elizabeth II surpasses Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch. 

It's not the first time that bank notes have offered a little something extra, with stunt-loving Paddy Power using the technology to create an animation of the Queen back in 2012. That did not go down well with the Bank of England, which told them to pull the promotion for infringing the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act.

This time, the way the Queen's image on the bank notes is made interactive mean the long arm of the law has been avoided, however, and it may open the door for further interactive bank notes.

"We are looking forward to future discussions with the Bank of England to potentially host content on their platform which is an object easily accessible by all," said Blippar's global marketing president Omaid Hiwaizi.

Here's how it works.

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