myEleusis.AR - A glimpse into the past
The term Augmented Reality refers to the enrichment of the real (physical) world with synthetic/virtual information (texts, multimedia, 3D objects etc), which is digitally produced. To put it simply, the user can receive additional information on the real world, using digital media. The figures produced with Augmented Reality technologies are harmonically inserted in the real world so that they fit like being part of it. That’s opposed to Virtual Reality Technology, where the user is being immersed and completely cut out of the “real world”.
Augmented Reality is an expediently growing research field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In the early 1990s, Augmented Reality appeared as the addition of virtual information to the perceived environment with the use of suitable devices. The term “addition” indicates that the real environment is not substituted; instead, it is supplemented and augmented with more information than those that are already perceivable by hearing, vision etc.
The Cultural Heritage field has greatly benefited from such immersive technologies. Augmented Reality, just like virtual reality, enables the user to virtually interact with digitized physical objects like exhibits, vessels, monuments and content of cultural significance in general. The use of Augmented Reality Technologies by museums and cultural organisations responsible for the conservation and dissemination of cultural heritage is targeted to the following goals:
- to shed light on cultural reserves,
- to educate,
- to enhance visitors’ experience,
- to reimagine/reconstruct exhibits or monuments of cultural importance that are entirely or partially ruined.
The Augmented Reality subsystem, myEleusis.AR, which is being implemented within myEleusis, will enable the visitors of the archaeological site of Eleusis to discover how the ruined monuments of the Eleusinian Mysteries era looked at the time. Using only their own smart devices, visitors will have access to digital information on the appearance of monuments, not previously accessible on-site.