‘K-Culture Time Machine,’ an augmented and virtual reality application will create a new way to take a tour. Prof. Woon-taek Woo's research team of Graduate School of Culture Technology of KAIST developed AR/VR application for smart tourism.
The 'K-Culture Time Machine' application (iOS App Store app name: KCTM) was launched on iOS App Store in Korea on May 22 as a pilot service that is targetting the Changdeokgung Palace of Seoul.
The application provides remote experience over time and space for cultural heritage or relics thorough wearable 360-degree video. Users can remotely experience cultural heritage sites with 360-degree video provided by installing a smartphone in a smartphone HMD device, and can search information on historical figures, places, and events related to cultural heritage. Also, 3D reconstruction of lost cultural heritage can be experienced.
Without using wearable HMD devices, mobile-based cultural heritage guides can be provided based on the vision-based recognition on the cultural heritages. Through the embedded camera in smartphone, the application can identify the heritages and provide related information and contents of the hertages. For example, in Changdeokgung Palace, a user can move inside the Changdeokgung Palace from Donhwa-Gate (the main gate of the Changdeokgung Palace), Injeong-Jeon(main hall), Injeong-Moon (Main gate of Injeong-Jeon), and to Huijeongdang (rest place for the king). Through the 360 degree panoramic image or video, the user can experience the virtual scene of heritages.
The virtual 3D reconstruction of the seungjeongwon (Royal Secretariat) which does not exist at present can be shown of the east side of the Injeong-Jeon The functions can be experienced on a smartphone without a wearable device, and it would be a commercial application that can be utilized in the field once the augmented reality function which is under development is completed.
Professor Woo and his research team constructed and applied standardized metadata of cultural heritage database and AR/VR contents. Through this standardized metadata, unlike existing applications which are temporarily consumed after development, reusable and interoperable contents can be made.Professor Woo said, "By enhancing the interoperability and reusability of AR contents, we will be able to preoccupy new markets in the field of smart tourism."
The research was conducted through the joint work with Post Media (CEO Hong Seung-mo) in the CT R&D project of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea. The results of the research will be announced through the HCI International 2017 conference in Canada this July.
Figure 1. 360 degree panorama image / video function screen of 'K-Culture Time Machine'. Smartphone HMD allows users to freely experience various cultural sites remotely.
Figure 2. 'K-Culture Time Machine' mobile augmented reality function screen. By analyzing the location of the user and the screen viewed through the camera, information related to the cultural heritage are provided to enhance the user experience.
Figure 3. The concept of 360-degree panoramic video-based VR service of "K-Culture Time Machine", a wearable application supporting smart tour of the historical sites. Through the smartphone HMD, a user can remotely experience cultural heritage sites and 3D reconstruction of cultural heritage that does not currently exist.
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