This project offers a fully functional implementation of a large-scale virtual exhibition incorporating various immersive environments at real-world scale, situated within a fictional 3D scene.From the product description
About the Experience
If you’ve ever wanted to visit a museum presenting past virtual reality (and other immersive) exhibits, this is the app for you! You walk around a building with an abandoned warehouse aesthetic and get to checkout various experiences that have been setup in real-world exhibition spaces before.
The product description says that there are 35 different projects on display, with 18 of those being immersive/stereoscopic. There are half-dome projections, cylindrical panoramic projections, simple curved screens, and various other visual formats. When these research and artistic projects were first presented, they probably made some headlines. Many of these are no longer quite as impressive, but it’s interesting seeing them closeup.
Graphics and Sound
There are two levels of graphics. The general warehouse/museum setting is decent enough, although it seems a little odd for what are mostly academic presentations. There’s also the quality of the actual exhibits themselves. These vary pretty widely based on when they came out, what they were actually demonstrating, and how important the visuals were at the time.
I think they come across well and they don’t need to be any more realistic. It’s a setting for exhibits that might otherwise have simply disappeared. It’s actually a pretty good idea, since work like this often reflects a lot of effort to showcase research or other findings, but then what happens once it’s done? Papers are available online forever, but the physical booths are probably tossed out afterwards. It’s a form of historic preservation.
For the most part, the works stand by themselves. Looking at the product page, you can see the details of the different projects including the title, researchers/performers, affiliation, and year. The works range from 1997 through 2014. There is also information such as catalog pages available within the app. The intention is to recreate the original presentation, and I think they did a good job.
Navigation and Interactivity
Moving around works as you’d expect. You can move smoothly or teleport. Some exhibits require you to duck and go under to enter, or just to lean in. They try to recreate the physical presence of the original booth, so you behave as you really would. The controls remain pretty consistent though so there shouldn’t be any surprises.
Updates and Support
I’m not completely clear of the plans here. It seems like there could be a new edition put out every year with new research. Alternatively, they could open source (or sell it) to conferences to capture the event. No updates have been released yet, and I don’t know how one would add more works to it. It seems like a natural use of this app though.
Overall, it was an interesting look at some of the work that has gone into our present immersive experiences. As academic demonstrations, some are pretty focused on details that aren’t as generally interesting, but most of them had some content worth viewing. It’s a free app, so it seems worth it to take a look!
- Variety of exhibits to view
- Good fidelity to original presentation
- Somewhat odd warehouse setting
- No updates or downloadable content yet