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52 DigiCULT
: 3D/VR/AR
he table below gives a condensed overview of
what the experts thought could be achieved
in this RTD area over the next 10-15 years. After a
short summary of what they considered to be cur-
rent limitations or barriers, the experts' suggestions
are grouped into the phases 2005-2009, 2010-2014,
2015 and beyond. The timeframes and, where given,
years indicate when a certain methodological and/
or technological gap could be closed or some oth-
er RTD breakthrough be achieved. These assessments
are of course dependent on the condition that appro-
priate funding levels, RTD collaborations and other
requirements are met.
2004: Current limitations/barriers
Most experts saw a considerable limitation in terms
of a lack of high-quality technologies/software for
developing and experimenting with 3D/VR/AR
applications and environments at a reasonable price.
With respect to 3D technologies it was often stated
that these would not conform to the requirements
of the heritage sector. Furthermore, gaps in stand-
ardisation, flexibility and stability were considered as
major barriers.
On the other hand, warnings were expressed to
prevent technology-driven approaches that would
show a `missing connection of interpretation, alter-
native and evidence' (M. Doerr), because the sci-
entific value of VR/AR environments is often not
considered. RTD projects would need much more
involvement of heritage subject-experts and Arts &
Humanities scholars.
Other major requirements were considered to be:
education & training of many more experts; fur-
ther development of Digital Rights Management
Systems (DRMS) for complex rights clearing and
licensing management.

Overall: Considerable improvements in technologies, much
more experimentation and consolidation of best practice
Development of 3D scanners and AR/VR software
for much easier deployment in heritage projects
Sharing and cooperative exploitation of 3D objects
and other complex objects among institutions and
projects (mandated in publicly funded projects)
More sophisticated DRMS for limiting and track-
ing of use of multimedia content
Broader adoption of, and experimentation with,
3D/VR/AR applications and devices in exhibition
spaces; validation of `best practices'
More often large, longer-term interdisciplinary
research and development efforts in 3D environ-
ments involving regional and city archives, museums
and libraries, public administrations and major tour-
ist associations
2007: Stable online scanning
2008: Improved algorithms for 3D reconstruction;
and combined geometric and radiometric analysis
2009: Efficient 3D modelling of large pieces or
scenes, including automatic crude registration, i.e.
fully automated solution of large 3D puzzles
2010: Automated extraction of features of video and
audio resources including for end-user applications
2010: Secure data hiding technologies for IPR pro-
2010: New efficient language for coding 3D objects,
beyond X3D
2012: First truly opportunistic 3D modelling systems
2015 and beyond
2015: First generation of immersive and knowl-
edge-driven VR environments for exploring histori-
cal towns over several centuries
2020: OCR-like technology for archival hand-writ-
ten text
2020: 3D systems and tools that allow for reproduc-
ing archival objects (e.g. incunabula with illumina-
tions) as well as handling them in similar ways to
the physical objects; furthermore, highly automated
ways to extract metadata from the archival objects
Generally, what could be achieved over the
next 10-15 years?
`A huge step forward in the levels of realism and
interactivity, thanks to ever more powerful graph-
ics, processing and storage systems now appearing'
and `navigation systems which would allow users
to explore, rather than just be guided round a pre-
defined tour'. (R. Drage)
`The cultural sector is in competition with many
other sectors (,,entertainment" broadly speaking).
The vision is that the products can meet this com-
petition, both with regard to content and tech-
nology.' (J. Lybeck)
DCTHI7_271104.indd 52
06.12.2004 8:38:04 Uhr