Exploring the future of Digital Heritage: Insights our review in virtual reconstruction of Cultural Heritage in immersive Virtual Reality

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Heritage Reconstruction
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Currently, Cultural Heritage reconstructions viewed through immersive Virtual Reality is a rapidly developing field, with an increasing number of academic studies and professional outcomes. This is since the combination of these two technologies allows for immersive visits to culturally significant sites that would otherwise be inaccessible. Despite this, there are still many unanswered questions.

In our recently published research, “A systematic review of virtual 3D reconstructions of Cultural Heritage in immersive Virtual Reality“, we conducted a systematic review following the PRISMA methodology of nearly 100 scientific articles to determine the best practices for conducting such projects and the factors that influence them.

What differentiates our research?

This is the first systematic review that combines these two topics: Virtual Heritage Reconstruction and Virtual Reality. Additionally, the number of articles analyzed is the largest ever conducted, doubling the sample size of previous reviews in similar fields. As a result, the scope and findings of our work are more comprehensive. In this study, we aimed to address all the steps involved in creating a Cultural Heritage Reconstruction experience viewed in immersive Virtual Reality, focusing on the following aspects:

  • Heritage characteristics: location, era, typology, and conservation status of the heritage.
  • Reconstruction characteristics: level of detail, size of the reconstruction, and quality of sources.
  • Experience design: target audience and type of immersive Virtual Reality experience intended.
  • Immersive Virtual Reality experience characteristics: technology used and level of interaction achieved.
  • Evaluation: number of people tested and methods used.

Key Findings

  • Better preservation of remains facilitates the creation of reconstruction, as documentation techniques such as photogrammetry can be utilized.
  • Immersive Virtual Reality experiences with 3 Degrees of Freedom and 6 Degrees of Freedom show significant differences, even in the type of heritage used and the target audience.
  • Currently, the experiences created are not very complex, but increasingly complex and interactive experiences are becoming more common.
  • The evaluation of results is still limited, but it is expected that this crucial factor will increase in the future.
  • Education stands out as the field where experiences are the most complex and interactive, and where the best evaluations are conducted. Therefore, it is a field with great potential for the development of these technologies.

For more details on the research and its results, check out our full article in the Multimedia Tools and Applications journal.

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