The main difference I feel with AR, VR and 3D experiences today when compared to virtual experiences ten and twenty years ago, is that the public are more accepting of it and our acceptance is only going to grow. Nothing is truly different, just modified, expanded and more appealing to the modern eye. So integrating virtual experiences into museums will definitely aid in the learning and entertainment practice of institutions overall. How this is ultimately done will depend on how the public receives it and inturn will be adjusted accordingly.
This week I experimented with the 123Dcatch App. I created an image of a vitage kitchen scale. Check it out below in the link – http://www.123dapp.com/Catch/Vintage-Persinware-Kitchen-Scale/6285472
I did go on to experiment with meshmixer and sketchfab however it is all very fiddly and like many weeks before I feel I need to just move on in order to cover the workload, after all it took 4 tries to capture an image in 3D that was presentable.
One of the best ways to engage and learn is by using our senses, smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing. The use of 3D images and printers to recreate objects would definitely aid in the learning value to students. Replicas are a great way of understanding the past and the future. Engineers and architects use 3D models to predict the viability of buildings before spending time and money on implementing them. We use 3D models in chemistry to reconstruct models of atoms that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The benefits of 3D structures are already in place. Unlike the real thing however the smell, weight, textures etc of the object may not match up and this could potentially harm a learning experience. An image comes to mind from my Geochemistry class last semester. Two people side by side held up a bar of gold. To the unknowing person it looked like they both were rich. However someone with a little more ‘real’ experience could notice the difference between the two. One person held it low by their waist while the other person held it high above their head. This wasn’t a battle of strength, this was an image of what it takes to hold the real thing which is extremely heavy compared to a lightweight fake.
No matter how much we can offer a virtual experience we are still going to want to experience the real thing. We are improving on the realness of the experience but that will never replace first hand experiences. The main difference I note with a virtual made up experience and the real thing is the dirt. The dirt is cleaned up for public viewing. The virtual tour of Rome showed buildings in mint condition, they weren’t falling down, half built, cracked, pooped on, burnt, dirty. They were clean and presentable.
Medieval or pilgrim re-enactments for example deliberately cut out some of the harsher conditions of the time. As best as people strive to re-create the exact conditions, some of the things left out are the actual blood, dead bodies, the stinky toilet pits and days without a shower. The re-enactments are all very sanitary and it appears that virtual history is heading the same way. Reflecting back on my 3D image, it actually appears in worse condition in the 3D image then it is in real life. However, had I pursued cleaning it up and better quality photography it too could look better then it is. It is something we the people are just going to have to muddle through, we will debate, protest and go back to the drawing board time and time again when it comes to how we wish history to be portrayed in the present day.