Visitors of Pompeii can now experience reconstructed sights and sounds of the ancient city layered over their real-world views of ruins using augmented reality (AR).
Independent tour operators in Pompeii will offer the Virginia-headquartered ARtGlass experience as part of their guided large group packages.
Using AR smartglasses, guides can transfer content to devices worn by visitors in large groups simultaneously with the swipe of a finger, without reliance on WiFi or the use of buttons, both in and outdoors.
The ARtGlass tour reveals detailed three-dimensional reconstructions of buildings along Pompeii’s most popular tour route, including the quadrangle, theaters, domus, forum and spa.
The World Heritage site in Southern Italy was buried under yards of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Its excavated ruins draw 3.6 million visitors annually.
ARtGlass’s software and systems operate across all models of smartglasses. At Pompeii, ARtGlass will use Epson’s Moverio smartglasses.
Valerie Riffaud-Cangelosi of Epson Europe commented: “We are pleased that our smartglasses are ARtGlass’s hardware of choice. Lightweight, easy to wear, and intuitive, the high-resolution display works well with ARtGlass software to recreate first century Pompei in vivid colour and depth, offering visitors compelling insights into Roman culture and history.”
ARtGlass tours have been rolled out at iconic cultural sites in the US and Europe, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Madame Tussauds and the Royal Villa in Monza.
“We have learned so much from the first million people to enjoy ARtGlass experiences,” said ARtGlass chief technology officer Luigi Percuoco. “There are vast differences between technology in the laboratory and in the hands of the public. We’re now able to reliably scale this magic to renowned sites like Pompeii.”
ARtGlass closed a $1.3 million angel financing round in November. The company indicated that the funding will be used to bolster its proprietary software platform, enhance intellectual property and scale deployment to additional iconic historic and cultural sites in North America.
To preview an ARtGlass experience, watch the video below:
Image credit: ARtGlass