Showcases belong to the standard equipment of museums and other exhibitions. They are used to display artifacts to the public, to make them available to a larger audience, and to protect them against detrimental effects of the environment. With Virtual Showcases, we want to introduce a new medium that allows to present hybrid (mixed: real and virtual) exhibits. Thereby, real pieces are superimposed with stereoscopic 3D computer graphics within a (for museum visitors familiar) showcase-like setup. Thus, virtual and real objects are optically combined in such a way that they appear three-dimensionally conjunct to the observers. Virtual Showcases also allow a number of observers to see and to interact with different or the same graphical content within the same spatial space.
The Virtual Showcase project aims at developing the knowledge and technology for Virtual Showcases to become standard equipment for museums and other public exhibitions spaces. Recent and anticipated advances in computer and graphics systems, projection systems, tracking technology, input devices, and networking technology form the basis for realising this vision. The three main objectives of the Virtual Showcase project are:OB1: Develop the hardware and software technology for Virtual Showcase systemsOB2: Develop the knowledge and technology to design and implement Virtual Showcase scenariosOB3: Evaluate the Virtual Showcase setup in real-world environments.
The Virtual Showcase project cycle is user-centred and consists of five core R&D workpackages whose components will be developed in parallel: -basic rendering (development of novel rendering methods and the adoption/extension of existing basis rendering concepts that allow the combination of traditional display devices with half-silvered mirrors of different topologies and configurations)-advanced rendering (explore and develop advanced graphical algorithms for displaying VS content in particular for AR scenarios, such as image-based approaches, light fields)-interaction (develop user interface tools and interaction styles for Virtual Showcase systems: support for a large variety of input devices, development of interaction styles appropriate for a showcase in a public setting, and a software architecture for convenient specification of input events and the system's reaction to user input)-content management (deploy all the necessary work to specify and implement the database for Virtual Showcases, implementation of an application for the database interface, management and retrieval of information, interfacing with the rendering modules)-authoring (develop standards and tools for authoring VS content and applications, that can be shared by multiple demonstration scenarios, and allow exchange of data among different demonstration scenarios.)An analysis and design workpackage will give continuos input to the core R&D workpackages, while the core workpackages will give internal feed-back to the analysis and design workpackage. Two succeeding application workpackages will apply the results from the core R&D workpackages to realise SW- and HW-prototypes, which are used for evaluation (e.g. as proof-of-concept prototypes in a preliminary stage of the project, or as application prototypes in a final stage).
Month 6: Analysis, preliminary design finished;
Month 13: Final design finished, technical feasibility proved (preliminary HW/SW proof-of-concept prototype/demonstrator);
Month 24: Final hardware prototypes, rendering, interaction, authoring and content-management components are completed;
Month 30: HW Prototypes and application scenarios are operational at the museum sites;
Month 36: Evaluation is completed and final report is ready.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts