Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

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Phd puts forward use of mobile augmented reality in management and conservation of historical heritage


Tecnalia also investigates its potential in cultural tourism and leisure

This technology enables visualising the real world, complemented by additional, computer-generated information using mobile terminals

The use of mobile augmented reality in the field of the management and conservation of historical heritage is another of the potential applications of this technology, according to the PhD thesis “Mobile Augmented Reality for the Conservation of Historical Heritage”, undertaken by Tecnalia researcher José Luis Izkara, in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country.

Tecnalia is investigating the use of this new technology in the fields of marketing, tourism and leisure, areas in which it is being introduced in its initial, development phase. José Luis Izkara’s PhD thesis puts forward the technological viability and the usefulness of employing technologies of mobile augmented reality for the tasks of professionals in the management and conservation of historical heritage, using mobile terminals.

Augmented reality, usually presented as a variation of virtual reality, enables the user to see the real world complemented with additional, computer-generated information. In this way, real and virtual elements coexist in the same scene, being impossible for the user to distinguish between the two.

The historical heritage research team at Tecnalia’s Construction Unit believes it is necessary to identify and develop systems and tools, based on technologies of mobile augmented reality that can be useful for carrying out the everyday tasks of professionals in the sector.

The research focused on the activities by professionals undertaking management tasks at historical heritage sites, given the highly complex nature of these. To this end, the concept of the Mobile Personal Assistant has been devised and developed – a tool that incorporates mobility, versatility, capacity for visualisation and adaptation to the end user and to the surroundings, work-associated characteristics that are highly useful for professionals in the sector.

The prototype of this tool has been tested while helping in the diagnosis of the state of conservation and accessibility of buildings and public spaces at a heritage site, as well as in the evaluation of the visual impact of inserting 3D elements. The conclusions drawn from the use of Mobile Personal Assistants is that these mobile devices are an ideal platform for introducing this technology in a mass way into society. Also, the three-dimensional information provided in-situ helps to understand aspects related to spaces, proximity, distances, sizes, and so on. Finally, this technology enables simulating and pre-visualising the results of a heritage site operation or inspection and with a feature that is particularly useful in decision-making - reversibility.

Tecnalia Research & Innovation, the foremost private applied research centre In Spain and fifth in Europe, is made up of the Tecnalia Technological Corporation which in turn is made up of AZTI-Tecnalia and NEIKER-Tecnalia. Tecnalia is a multidisciplinary, private and independent corporation, contributing to the development of the economic and social environment through technological innovation. 52% of its income comes from activities developed by large companies and by small and medium-sized enterprises (“pymes” in the Spanish acronym) that are innovative and that receive services and products from Tecnalia that are reflected in their business results and in the welfare of society at large.

Source: Tecnalia

Further information

Anais Silbán (943 816 800)


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