Intuitive access to information in everyday environments is becoming a central concern of new information society technologies. Cultural heritage content has been developed during recent years but is yet not made available in public shared spaces in an immersive and emotional way. Virtual Reality technology provides means to interactively and individually explore cultural and natural content thus as offering personalized sight-seeings and guided journeys thru landscapes, architecture, literature and music. Content authoring and production is exploiting more automative techniques from computer vision for reducing costs. High-speed networks like GEANT and TEIN interconnect citizens from various cultural origin for a global information exchange. Thus, the new generation of digital collections will allow citizens all over the world to commonly share existing and future cultural heritage archives by immersive telepresence.
The DHX project aims to establish a networked virtual reality infrastructure and content development for museums and cyber theatres for mutual exchange of digital cultural and natural heritage. European and Asian partners are participating for transcontinental shared immersive experience in a global scale using high bandwidth trans Euro-Asian networks.
The objectives are as follows:
- providing a distributed IT infrastructure for globally shared immersive experience;
- improving the authoring tools for digital storytelling by computer vision methods in cultural and natural heritage;
- developing distributed cultural heritage experiences as next generation of digital collections;
- accessing existing multi media knowledge bases and digital libraries for detailed information and education;
- presentation and demonstration of human heritage to large scale networked audience for interactive exploration, edutainment and education;
- launching new business areas for cultural heritage exhange.
Existing high bandwidth European networking infrastructure (GEANT) is used to interconnect virtual reality type large screen presentation facilities in museums, research institutes and in public spaces for virtually shared exploration of cultural content, remotely guided virtual sightseeing tours and remote education in history. It is intended to expand this European infrastructure to a global scale and to connect to Asian high bandwidth networks such as TEIN accessible for the anticipated applications. For large heritage content exchange, content production and development is significantly improved by adding automatic techniques to current production chains, such as computer vision based 3D reconstruction and data base generation methods as well as motion modelling of animals.
Cultural and natural content of various type from different European and one Asian region is generated by making use of advanced techniques in digital storytelling, new paradigms in digital dramaturgy and collaborative interaction to offer educational content in a highly interesting and exciting immersive way. These demonstrators will also show a range of technical and scientific complexity - starting from avatar-like remotely guided shared sightseeing tours to multi-site multi-user interactive explorative and collaborative experiences. Furthermore, multi media data bases are accessible from immersive sessions out of the virtual reality presentation.
Finally, public presentations and installations of the content developed so far is undertaken: at first in 2-site distributed locations, later in transcontinental multi site installations between the European partners and the Asian partner. The display systems used for these demonstrations will vary from single channel large screen stereo displays to multi channel surround displays and will allow individuals as well as groups to virtually share an cultural heritage experience.
DHX will establish, demonstrate and use a stable application based high bandwidth interconnectivity between the project partners. Digital natural and cultural heritage content for distributed immersively share experience will be developed and the computer vision tools for content production and the virtual reality tools for content presentation will be extended. Finally, the content is installed in museums and cyber theatres and publicly used over high speed networks by citizens.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
74100 Rethymnon, Crete