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VR Tracked interactable objects


​One of the questions asked during the research concerns the possibilities of Immersive Technology for bridging the gap between the physical and virtual world. Can we preserve the character of physical objects and enable interactions in the virtual world that are otherwise impossible? Very often we see beautiful museum objects in closed display cabinets, we see beautifully illustrated books under glass domes, historical weapons under lock and key and so much material that is invisible in the archives. How can we still give the visitor the chance to hold these objects, to let them use these objects or to enable interaction with the objects?

Swords, axes, pikes … historical weapons are part of many heritage collections. They tell stories about human evolution, about wars and rituals. Giving visitors the chance to get to know these stories by using these weapons was the starting point of this prototype.


March 5, 2050 can be read on the tear-off calendar in the kitchen. You look out the window. It’s still hanging there… For several weeks now, an alien ship has been hovering a few hundred meters away from here. Contact had not yet been made. The radio is on “Last night, scientists managed to make contact with the inhabitants of the alien ship for the first time. It is clear from this communication that they have traveled to Earth without any bad intentions. They want to get to know our society and history and need our help to do so. The scientists are currently looking for volunteers who dare to travel to the ship. Anyone who feels called upon can register at the museum.”


Once arrived at the museum, the visitor can use the VR glasses to move to the spaceship. Here he bumps into Berr-e. A small, red robot with a high cuddly factor! He already knows a lot about a number of objects, but the alien visitors cannot imagine how these objects are handled by the inhabitants of Earth. It is now up to the visitor to demonstrate this on the basis of 3 mini games.

​To give shape to this experience, a futuristic environment was created in which three different weapons are displayed as realistically as possible in 3D. The player can choose a weapon using the VR controllers and then start a minigame. Berr-e is the guide of service, who gives the player historical information and guides him through the experience.

One of these weapons, the sword, was also provided with a full-size replica. This replica was equipped with trackers to match the movements of the sword in reality with the virtual model. This means that when the visitor puts on the VR goggles to play the minigames, he is not holding an ordinary VR controller, but the replica of the sword. Once in the virtual environment, the user sees the animated sword whose movements exactly match the movements of the replica. This gives the player the feeling of really hitting the sword!


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Today's heritage visitor is looking for unique experiences. To shape these experiences, strong stories and technological innovation are essential. However,...