Historical Heritage, buildings and urban sites of the present and recent past were not adequately documented and have been forgotten for a long time.
In this context, new experiences with the 3D modeling and simulation of such spaces in Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming very impactful as documentation tools.
The purpose of Hermes Virtual Tour (HVT) then, is to create an interaction environment in augmented reality to explore historical areas in such a way that ancient versions of buildings can be visualized and explored directly in the real space where the buildings were in the past or their current versions are situated today.
Basicly, HVT combines AR and historical heritage. The project used Image recognition, GPS and compass to define the pose of a user in a site in the world, and render historical and touristic information to users.
Gestures with fingers can be used for 3D model manipulation implementing a magic-wand approach. The user can take a walk through a virtual model , walking in the past.
Users handling a mobile display device, as a tablet or smartphone, walk around the real site, and as they point the display towards a neighboring building, they can see how it was in the past, which allows a travel in time, offering a fourth dimension to the experience.
The results obtained demonstrate the potential of augmented reality applications for the dissemination of historical heritage.
Hermes Virtual tour app uses RX enRich the conteXt, an Augmented reality (AR) technology; it integrates concepts and techniques from areas such as computer vision, computer graphics and image processing.
It amplifies the view a user has from the real world by means of the combination of 3D virtual objects with real world objects.
For instance when HVT intercepts a site like Colosseum, it overlays a 3D model , an audio starts and user can make a photo overlaying Virtual to the Real world.
Moreover, in this process, the user keeps a feeling of presence in the real world, in opposition to virtual reality (VR) where the user is fully immersed in the virtual environment and loses contact with the real environment.
RX technology is a tool to amplify the current vision of the historical heritage in the cities of the world, providing a view to the architectural past coupled to the real physical space.
Important historical sites are adequately documented, and also modern buildings are proposed. In this direction, experiences with the simulation of architectural and urban spaces in AR is innovative and can be very immersive and impactful.
Thus, a new attention is now directed to the reconstruction and simulation of historical environments aiming at the education in cultural heritage, the construction of historical documentation and the preservation of the historical heritage.
HVT makes available detailed models of many sites of world’s cities these buildings are now available, and they will be accessible through HVT tools to visualize and explore such virtual historic spaces.
So HVT is creating an augmented reality environment in which ancient versions of buildings can be visualized and explored directly in the real space where the buildings were in the past or their current versions are situated today.
Specifically, HVT focuses on providing AR tools to navigate in a virtual environment of the central area of the Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Veron, Turin etc.
Users handling a mobile display device, as a tablet PC, walk around the real Colosseum area and as they point the display towards a neighboring building, 3D models depicting ancient constructions are superimposed and they can see how the arena was, for example, in the year of 240 AC .
In the next version of HVT the date will be chosen interactively, which will allow a travel in time, offering a fourth dimension to the experience.