Augmented Reality FAQ

What is augmented reality? 

Augmented reality allows you to see the natural environment with a digital overlay using your device’s camera. You will be able to “see” artists talking about their work, go on virtual tours, and discover hidden animations.  

What will I see? 

The experiences vary from animations to photos. Most of the experiences include a short (1–2 minute) video presented by artists, staff, or experts that share information the artwork or area you are in. You may need to move your camera around throughout the experience.  

You can take photos during the experience. Either use your phone’s screen capture feature or take a photo within the app using the camera icon.  

Where can I find the AR experiences? 

Look for QR codes on signs placed near artworks in and around Old Town Scottsdale. Hover your phone’s camera over the code to start the experience.    

You can also access certain AR experiences anywhere. Open the Hoverlay app and scan the QR code or the anchor symbol to start the experience.

What will I seehear, or do while using AR?  

  • Aspire by Simon Donovan and Ben Olmstead: See fabrication images of Aspire and hear artist Simon Donovan as he describes how the artwork was made.
  • Birdie Umwelt by Mary Lucking: Meet artist Mary Lucking as she describes the artwork and shares her inspiration behind the birds reading the books.
  • Bronze Horse Fountain by Bob Parks: Meet Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Arts, as she shares the stories behind these iconic horses. 
  • Diamond Bloom by Curtis Pittman: Meet artist Curtis Pittman as he shares his inspiration for this public art sculpture. 
  • The Doors by Donald Lipski and Jim Green: Meet artist Donald Lipski as he describes the artwork and shares the story behind it.
  • Horseshoe Falls by Michael Maglich: Meet Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, as she shares some fun facts about the symbolism of this work and invites you to interact with it. 
  • Impulsion by Jeff Zischke: Watch a three-dimensional animation of the Impulsion horse. You can resize and rotate the sculpture by pinching your fingers on the screen.
  • Industrial Pipe Wave by Christopher Fennell: Meet the artist Christopher Fennell as he shares how he came up with the idea for Industrial Pipe Wave.
  • Knight Rise by James Turrell: View a time-lapse video of the changing sky as seen through Knight Rise.
  • LOVE by Robert Indiana: Meet Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, to learn the history of this iconic piece from the collection. You can also see examples of LOVE from around the world.
  • One-Eyed Jack by John Randall Nelson: Meet artist John Randall Nelson as he shares the story behind why this location is so significant to him and the Scottsdale contemporary arts scene. Also check out the special One-Eyed Jack AR experience here.
  • Passing the Legacy by Herb Mignery: Meet Mark Reynolds, captain of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Hashknife Posse, to learn about the historic route that is recreated annually and culminates at this public art piece inspired by the historic Pony Express. 
  • Pinball Wizard by Annette Coleman: Meet artist Annette Coleman as she describes what inspired her to create Pinball Wizard as 3D mosaic pinballs are propelled into the air and bounce around.
  • Soleri Bridge and Plaza by Paolo Soleri: Meet staff from Cosanti Foundation to learn about the layered symbolism of Soleri Bridge and Plaza. Virtually visit the historic studios of Paolo Soleri, Cosanti, and Arcosanti, and explore 3-D animations and time-lapse videos of this work. 
  • Spirit of Camelback: Artist Kana Tanaka was inspired by the buds of a cactus flower for the shape of the art glass elements in this piece. Watch the cactus buds bloom in time-lapse videos by filmmaker Greg Krehel.
  • Traceries by Mary Bates Neubauer: Meet artist Mary Bates Neubauer as she shares the story behind these beautiful recycling and waste bins.
  • Water Mark by Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan: Meet artist Tom Drugan as he describes the different components of the artwork, and watch water pour from horse gargoyles’ mouths.
  • Windows to the West by Louise Nevelson: Taking care of public art is a full-time job. Meet Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, as she shares the history of this piece and the work it takes to keep this art from going to the birds. 
  • The Yearlings by George-Ann Tognoni: Meet Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, as she gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to restore the artwork in 2022-23. 

What is on the map on the +ScottsdalePublicArt channel?

The circles on the map represent each AR experience. When there is a green dot at the edge of the circle, you can activate that experience. Press on the circle you would like to activate.

What if there is a red dot on the circle in the map?

You are not physically close enough to the artwork experience to activate the AR; move closer to the artwork. The experience may also be temporarily unavailable.

Scottsdale Public Art Permanent Collection — At select permanent artworks around Old Town Scottsdale, see videos by artists, staff, or experts sharing information about the pieces.

One-Eyed Jack — Access a special experience featuring the artwork One-Eyed Jack by John Randall Nelson. Learn more about this experience here.

What kind of device do I need? 

You will need a newer phone connected to Wi-Fi or a service provider and with updated software (i.e., iPhone 6 or higher with at least iOS 13 or Android with 7.0). You can also check if your mobile device is ARCore compatible.

How do I install the app?  

First, you need an AR-capable device (see above).

Next, download the Hoverlay app OR open your device’s camera and hover over the QR code below. You can also open your device’s browser, e.g., Chrome, Safari, etc. and go to to download the app directly. 

What do the symbols on my Hoverlay app screen mean?

  1. Return to the map
  2. Refresh button
  3. Search option for Hoverlay AR channels
  4. Camera/video button- Tap for a photo and press and hold for a video
  5. Help/Information

Why can’t I hear anything? 

Make sure your phone is turned off from silent mode and turn up the volume. The AR is best experienced using headphones. 

How can I stop the video? 

Touch the screen and hit the pause button. Click the refresh arrow at the top to start over or refresh new content.  

How can I take a photo of the experience? 

You can capture photos by using the screenshot feature on your phone or clicking on the camera icon in the app. 


Why can’t I see or hear anything? 

Did you hover your phone’s camera over the QR code, and open in Hoverlay? 


Did your camera open Hoverlay? 


Did you move your camera around? Sometimes the content is behind you. 


Did you refresh the app (click on the circle arrow in the top right corner)? 


Try closing the app (quit it entirely) and restart by hovering your phone’s camera over the QR code again.