If you love exploring historical places and visit museums to know more about ancient items, this news will be valuable for you. Now you can explore ancient ruins using augmented reality. You might think that this is an old piece of news, but the twist in this tale is that you can even get a smell of the place you are moving through, virtually. Museums will only provide a static display of any ancient place. But with augmented reality, the present and the past are merged and you can feel as if you have travelled back in time to the ancient era.
The Dead Men’s Eyes
Yes that’s the name of the augmented reality app which overlays virtual images on top of the real world. The hardware and the prototype applications were developed by Dr. Stuart Eve who is an honorary research associate at the Institute of Archaeology University College London (UCL). He is also a member of the L – P : Archaeology.
The GPS of an iPad is used by the AR app to find out the location of the users. As they hold up the camera of the iPad to the scenery, they will be able to see virtual reconstructions on top of the real world images. As the user moves across the landscape, the reconstructions will also change and move in real-time.
A combination of the AR technology from Vuforia and Unity3D gaming engine helps in placing virtual images in their correct location and viewpoint, as taken from archaeological information. The viewpoint is on the basis of the location where the user is standing.
Dr. Eve said “Augmented reality enables us to give glimpses into the past – that are not possible if you are just walking around a site or indeed part of a city of a rural field in the middle of nowhere. These ‘experiences’ could be easily recreated within a virtual reality environment, by donning an Oculus Rift and some VR gloves we can see and touch the past.”
“However, by creating the whole experience within a computer and then donning a pair of closed goggles – we run the risk of cutting ourselves off from the real world – and creating bands of zombies plugged into computers who never have any experience of the real world and instead choose to live within a virtual world – with all interactions mediated through a computer.”
Dead Men’s Nose
The Dead Men’s Nose bag emits smells which makes your surroundings, smell like that of the past. This makes the augmented reality experience more immersive. The device has also been developed by Dr. Eve. They can either be placed around the scenery to emit certain smells or can be worn by the user as they move through the augmented world of ancient ruins.
An Arduino microcontroller is used by the hardware along with typical computer parts. It can be used with any scent which the users desire. As augmented reality software, it connects to a web-server and emits the smells when connected to the Unity3D engine. The smell is then dispersed at the correct location and time as the user continues his exploration.
So, now explore an immersive world full of visuals and smell.
What’s your take?
Do you love exploring ancient sites? Will you use the Dead Men’s Eyes app and Dead Men’s Nose bag? Share your thoughts in the comments below.