Digital Heritage Research Lab

VR in the Time of Social Distancing: New Multidisciplinary-Inspired Directions for Virtual Exhibitions

Authors

Pritchard, D., Avouri, E., Osti, G., Cliffen, H., Joncic, N., Ripanti, F., & Toumpouri, M.

Citation

Pritchard, D., Avouri, E., Osti, G., Cliffen, H., Joncic, N., Ripanti, F., & Toumpouri, M. (2020). VR in the Time of Social Distancing: New Multidisciplinary-Inspired Directions for Virtual Exhibitions. ICAMT: Architecture & Exhibit Design.

Abstract

Social distancing is currently the international disease control standard as a response to the spread of Covid-19. This situation has brought many significant challenges to Cultural Heritage (CH) professionals and associated institutions. Although physical patronage at museums has dropped significantly, there are opportunities for retaining and possibly increasing viewership by using the latest virtual reality technology (VR) and other advanced multimedia tools. To be better informed, it is helpful to look at sectors outside of CH that have made an effective integration of these systems and methods. A comparative precedent is the international medical sector, which actively employs advanced VR for education, research and daily practice. The field has been highly active in the integration of VR to effectively address issues such as enhanced training, communication, public/professional engagement and remote access. For both CH and medicine, developing VR content is time-consuming, and the associated computer hardware and associated exhibition equipment can be exceptionally expensive. By drawing upon state-of-the-art research and applied activities from the field of medicine, the proposed paper will look at specific precedents that would be of direct interest and benefit to CH. Looking at methods such as digital documentation, virtualization, 3D presentation, AR interaction, haptic systems, and other VR tools. The suggested topics will be discussed within the framework of the EU ERA Chair in Digital CH, project “MNEMOSYNE”, which aims to propose systems, guidelines, and standards for the holistic documentation of Digital Cultural Heritage.

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