Castelo Novois one of the member villages that make up Portugal’s ‘Historical Villages’network, a cluster of urban nuclei, which came into being before the founding of the Portuguese nation.
Atop one of its town’s castle turrets sits the Virtual Sightseeing Scenic Viewer (VSSV), a type of virtual guide that Fundão Municipality assures will leave no visitor asking “What exactly am I looking at?”
The VSSV, deployed for the first time at another castle in north-central Portugal in 2005, lets visitors use the unit to scan the surrounding landscape. Points of interest are detected and displayed in real-time on the unit’s built-in touch-screen. Using Augmented Reality technologies, the VSSV lets visitors view information in the form of text, images and videos about any selected point of interest.
In addition, the VSSV at Castelo Novo also offers visitors a taste of what traditional life was like in that part of the country by including a 3D recreation of a Sheppard herding his flock just outside the castle walls, and a video of a Knights Templar scouting the surrounding countryside from atop Castelo Novo.
YDreams has deployed 13 similar VSSV units throughout Portugal over the last six years. Click HERE to watch a video of the VSSV in Cascais, just outside Lisbon.
Yesterday Bruce Sterling referenced our augmented reality scenic viewer on his blog! Bruce commented that “it was Interesting to see a kiosk application. If you can call that device a kiosk.”
And of course it is so much more than an average kiosk. Dubbed a virtual sightseeing scenic viewer, the totem-like device spins 360º and features a built-in screen and webcam that captures and displays exactly what you see before you on the screen in real-time. The magic resides in the fact that it uses augmented reality to merge virtual digital elements such as video, text and images with real live points in the landscape. Imagine aiming the scenic viewer at the Bastille in Paris and being able to watch a 3D historical recreation of the angry mobs storming the fortress-prison during the French revolution! The possibilities are endless and the Virtual Sightseeing scenic viewer has the capacity to make it real.
Below a video of our first scenic viewer deployed at Pinhel Castle in central Portugal back in 2005:
In the very near feature we’ll have a new version of the Virtual Sightseeing Scenic Viewer, our Augmented Reality landscape exploration device. Here’s a teaser, courtesy of Pedro Cardoso, our Art Director: