Friday, July 4, 2014

Shining a light on the past: 'Virtual reality' torch projects missing fragments on to ancient treasures, restoring them to their former glory

  • Researchers led from Bordeaux have created an augmented reality device
  • The 'revealing flashlight' can be used to restore broken or worn artefacts
  • It then uses a camera to project an image onto an object
  • This image is based on a digital representation of the artefact
  • The user can then point to move the projection around, revealing features


    First, the researchers analyse a previously acquired 3D model of an artefact. This allows finer or coarser details to be examined, or features no longer visible to the naked eye.
    Next, a visual representation is projected onto an artefact based on how it used to look. 
    This reveals hidden features of its geometry not visible to the naked eye.
    Finally, a novel technique lets people interact in a familiar way - the use of a flashlight.
    A gesture-controlled system allows a user to point in the direction of an artefact and light up different parts of it.