The goal of CuRVE is to develop an innovative system that combines the latest achievements of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Storytelling (ST) technologies to document and highlight historical elements of culture, by influencing the way the visitor experiences his/her presence in the cultural space and turning him/her into active user of culture.
With the use of VR and ST technologies, CuRVE will allow personalized tour and interaction in a virtual immersive environment of cultural interest associated with the exhibits of the demonstration workshop. The immersive virtual visit will take place with the use of VR treadmill, Head Mounted Display (HMD), headphones and devices for the interaction with the virtual objects. The personalized tour will be performed by an virtual character (avatar) chosen by the visitor visitor which will move with him in the virtual paths according to his/her interests and choices, explaining the relationship of the site with historical cultural elements, the significance of associated historical events and persons that affected History and Culture. The project will allow realistic irritation of human senses (such as touch, vision, hearing) and develop the corresponding rendering to enable sensing of the physical properties of 3D virtual objects, and personilised interaction of the visitor with the virtual world. Physical devices (tactile and dynamic feedback devices) will be developed, with virtual representatives of haptic feedback devices (virtual buttons), with a special emphasis on the application of ‘ultrahaptics’ to reproduce touching sensation and manipulation of virtual objects. In addition, the visitor will have access to related knowledge content through interactive, personalized experiences with the use of storytelling technique.
With the use of AR and ST technologies, CuRVE will allow personalized guided tours and interactions with the virtual 3D objects of the open lab’s exhibition. The visitor will be able to browse the exhibition with the use of VR Headset or with a smart mobile device (tablet or smart phone) that incorporates technologies for image recognition, localization, and motion identification. An avatar chosen by the visitor will walk next to him/her and will describe the chosen exhibits, will explain the preservation techniques and challenges, the information extracted by them and their association with historical cultural elements. Using a simple graphic user interface (on the smartphone screen or virtual interface), the visitor will be able to observe and manipulate the chosen 3D virtual augmented objects. He/she will be able to zoom, rotate and crop the 3D virtual representations, to observe the reconstructed version, to witness the exhibits’ course in time, and to receive knowledge about associated historical cultural elements. With the use of ‘ultrahaptic’ technology, the visitor will be able to feel the texture of the surface and the shape of the object of his/her interest. In addition, through a appropriate menu the visitor will have access to relevant interactive multimedia information bridging the gap between his / her experiences, knowledge and preferences, with cultural artifacts that represent a different time and space.