Imagine you could live in a past era through the evidence it left: buildings, streets, artifacts. If history is your passion, probably you already did and also thought many times: “if only I could have a time machine!”
It seems that now someone passed from the simple thought to the action: his name is Stuart Eve, he is an archaeologist and he’s working on an app for mobile devices called “Dead Men’s Eyes” that could take in front of our eyes and – why not? – all around us, the past. How? With Augmented Reality, of course!
First Eve built a system based on a smartphone, an Arduino microcontroller and a Unity3D application. As a second step, he went through the sites recording his path and ideas, and then he recreated the landscape in a coordinate-based mapping program. Last step: he created the structures and placed them into their proper locations on the map with the Unity3D.
At this point, with just an iPad in the hands he was able to go around and see the past come to life. In the video below, you can have an example of the augmentation of a Roman Fort:
Eve is even more ambitious: he is working on taking to the very place they belonged long ago not just only sight, but also smell and sound of the historical places. This is still a bit to work on, though, but the idea is incredible.
If you are asking yourself: yes, the name of the app is inspired to a book, a short story by M.R. James called ‘Dead Men’s Eyes’ (or A View From The Hill) in which a man uses a pair of old binoculars to view grisly episodes from ages past. Very appropriate, isn’t it?