A FRAMEWORK FOR LOW-COST MULTI-PLATFORM VR AND AR SITE EXPERIENCES
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Virtual Field Trips, Structure from Motion, 360° Imagery, Authoring Tools
Abstract. Low-cost consumer-level immersive solutions have the potential to revolutionize education and research in many fields by providing virtual experiences of sites that are either inaccessible, too dangerous, or too expensive to visit, or by augmenting in-situ experiences using augmented and mixed reality methods. We present our approach for creating low-cost multi-platform virtual and augmented reality site experiences of real world places for education and research purposes, making extensive use of Structure-from-Motion methods as well as 360° photography and videography. We discuss several example projects, for the Mayan City of Cahal Pech, Iceland’s Thrihnukar volcano, the Santa Marta informal settlement in Rio, and for the Penn State Campus, and we propose a framework for creating and maintaining such applications by combining declarative content specification methods with a central linked-data based spatio-temporal information system.