Aquileia Virtuale is an Augmented Reality Real Time 3D app for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones, produced by Ikon and NuDesign for Fondazione Aquileia, institution in charge of most archaeological areas in the town of Aquileia.
Aquileia was one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire until Attila destroyed it in the mid-5th century. Inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1998, it is currently a small town and the ancient Roman buildings, except for the majestic Basilica, are mostly unexcavated or buried under more recent buildings. The only way for people to understand what the ancient city looked like is through 3D reconstruction. Funded by Fondazione Aquileia, the companies Ikon and NuDesign, specialized in 3D modelling and mobile apps, have created 3D reconstructions and videos of most of the ancient buildings.
The app Aquileia Virtuale, combining 3D images, videos and Real Time 3D models, allows visitors to tour Aquileia using their mobile device as a “time window” and as a multimedia videoguide. Walking around town, the visitor receives information on the ancient buildings nearby and, where there is a 3D model available, can virtually “enter” the building to explore it.
The Real Time 3D models can be explored both on site (Augmented Reality) and off site (Virtual Tour): the visitor can move the mobile device around him to explore on site or use the virtual joypads on the side of the screen when off site. This app does not present a 3D walk-through but allows an exploration of the 3D Real Time reconstructed buildings using the GPS and the accelerator built in the devices, in an Augmented Reality mode, on the very spot where the original building was. Inside the 3D models are also various hotspots with information on buildings and objects.
This App is the result of a strong scientific and technological partnership and of the innovative approach of Fondazione Aquileia in promoting heritage. It combines research by the scientific team of the Fondazione with Ikon and NuDesign’s technological skills and creativity, to offer a unique experience that fully engages the visitor.
A live working demo of the App is available to the visitors of Digital Heritage in an installation with iPads mini to show at their best the high quality 3D models.