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   Infocentre

Published: 9 February 2016  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnvironmentCultural heritage
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Belgium  |  France  |  Greece  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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A virtual future for vestiges of the past

A clay pot, an arrowhead, a delicately carved bone bead - taken in isolation, the artefacts of bygone ages don't convey much information to the untrained observer. Immersive 3D technologies are opening up new ways to provide context for individual objects, or across entire cultural heritage sites. An EU-funded project is advancing key techniques.

Photo of the ancient Greek amphoras

© Perseomedusa - Fotolia.com

Imagine stepping right into the past. Virtual reality can offer the next best thing until someone actually invents a time machine, and augmented reality can help to add a new dimension to the objects and places that we view. Launched in June 2015, the DigiArt project strives to take these immersive technologies forward.

Experiencing history…

It is a multidisciplinary partnership, where archaeologists and anthropologists collaborate with engineers and computer experts to address challenges and innovate. Together, they aim to develop new, cost-effective solutions that will combine images and information — notably acquired by drones and scans — into immersive, interactive 3D displays.

Further work will focus on connecting individual artefacts online to create an “internet of historical things”. Such a virtual collection will enable experts and other enthusiasts to access high-quality material online, allowing them to study pieces that might otherwise have been difficult to access. DigiArt intends to generate the hyperlinks between these objects automatically, by means of semantic analysis based on automatic feature extraction.

…with immersive 3D technology

Drawing on its combined know-how with regard to data capture and processing, story building, visualisation and 3D interaction, the project intends to develop a toolkit that will support museums with the creation of such immersive experiences.

As part of the project’s demonstration activities, the techniques will be trialled in three locations — such as the Scladina cave in Belgium, where the partners will strive to recreate a slice of prehistoric life.

Project details

  • Project acronym: DigiArt
  • Participants: UK (Coordinator), Greece, France, Switzerland, Belgium
  • FP7 Proj. N° 314560
  • Total costs: € 3 056 765
  • EU contribution: € 2 354 147
  • Duration: June 2015 - June 2018

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Countries
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  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece