background image
Additional effort was needed for the development of the real-time tracking system,
which is used for tracking the mobile users of the system.The algorithm is based on
markerless image analysis in the frequency domain, and achieves high accuracy and effi-
cient performance in the presence of occlusions, motion and rotation. Another time-con-
suming task was the integration of the individual software and hardware system compo-
nents, and their adaptation for operation in uncontrolled outdoor environments.
The design of the system and the choice of the various technologies and software and
hardware components were made by consensus via the technical partners. Experience
and know-how were used together with market research and testing of existing compo-
nents.The initial choice was further refined based on user feedback, new developments
in the field and new hardware appearing in the market.The partners participated in
major conferences and exhibitions in fields related to the project and made contacts with
other leading projects and research teams studying virtual reality, augmented reality,
mobile computing, and more specifically with cultural heritage applications of these
technologies.This process still continues, with an aim to producing a commercial version
of the system.
The ARCHEOGUIDE project was initially conceived as a mobile augmented reality
guide and tour companion.The system was designed and developed with this definition
in mind and the first prototype was built based on a top-of-the-range laptop and special
AR glasses. During the evaluation of this prototype it became evident that the size and
weight of the equipment would be too great for a number of its intended users. Based
on that and the fact that lighter and more compact devices with sufficient processing
power were unlikely to become available in the market before the end of the project, the
consortium considered lighter versions of the system making use of virtual and mixed
reality.These were built on pen-tablets and PDA's, and feature the same information with
the AR devices presented on touch-sensitive screens which are easier to carry, suitable
for outdoor viewing, and have a user-friendly interface built around graphical bookmark
tabs. Despite the fact that they lack the immersive aspect of the AR devices, they offer
high quality, location and orientation sensitive presentations adapted to each user's per-
sonal profile. Finally, a new kind of AR device was considered and implemented, and the
old AR glasses and associated head `gantry' were replaced by compact AR binoculars.
These offer an identical experience, but are more user-friendly and provide better con-
trast for outdoor use in sunny weather.
In terms of personnel requirements, the project's needs were generally covered by the
partners' existing staff. As a result of time limitations and the lack of available special
hardware some minor tasks were performed by contractors. Such tasks included the aerial
photography of the site of Olympia, where a private firm undertook the task of photo-
graphing the site from an aeroplane. Another example was the scanning of museum arte-
facts for the creation of accurate 3D. For system maintenance after installation, much of
the content creation and organisation can be performed by the staff of the site where the
installation will be performed following training with the editing and authoring tools.
Setting up new devices or extending the coverage of the system requires the support of
the consortium's engineers. In the future they hope that this will not be the case.
In terms of implementation and evaluation, ARCHEOGUIDE has met its main goals
of the production of a mobile AR platform suitable for outdoor applications, implemen-
tation of AR,VR and MR tours of archaeological sites, user friendly operation, a multi-
media database of cultural heritage information, and graphical tools for content creation,
management and virtual reconstructions.The final product has been warmly accepted by
Virtual Reality and
Display Technologies