Virtual Romans Mobile Device App Launch

VRL 1 bannerIt’s great to be able to report on the public launch this week of a fantastic new Augmented Reality (AR) heritage app produced by De Montfort University researchers. The Launch event was held at Leicester’s  Jewry Wall Museum, right in the heart of the old Roman city and marks another stage in two years of research and development of a linked series of research initiatives which include a website and an interactive digital display in the museum. Called “Virtual Romans” the mobile device app builds on previous interactive 3D modelling work on Roman Leicester by De Montfort University. It was produced for Leicester City Council’s Arts and Museum’s service by a team led by Dr. Nick Higgett along with Gerarardo Saucedo, Dr. Eric Tatham and Russell White. The app allows users to explore in great detail the buildings in and around the center of ancient Roman Leicester in the year 210 AD when the city was called Ratae Corieltauvorum. The project to develop the app was supported by Leicester City Council’s Arts and Museum’s service, De Montfort University and the University of Leicester Archaeological Services Unit. The App gives you a manipulable and navigable view of a selection of 3D Roman buildings and artifacts using either a map or a gallery page. The map offers a variety of map types including street, satellite and mixed views. It also provides a selection of Roman map and walking trail overlays. The archaeological artifacts in the app are 3D digital photo-realistic manipulable objects which you can easily zoom into, pan and rotate to examine their detail. We have blogged about this app before (here) as it was nearing completion but it is now for the first time publicly available to download for free from the Apple App Store. “Virtual Romans” is so far only available for iPads but an android version is planned to follow. The App’s most innovative aspect is the use of a proprietary augmented reality algorithm developed at De Montfort University to superimpose the 3D digital reconstructions of ancient Roman buildings on real-live scenes viewed through the camera of your mobile device as you walk around the center of Leicester. You can explore the Jewry Wall area where the old Roman baths were, the Forum building close by as well as a very rare Romano-British Mithraeum, a Roman Temple to the god Mithras who was very popular with Roman Legionaries. Download the app from the app store, try it out and e-mail us to let us know what you think. There’s also an article on this week’s public launch of the app in the Friday 31 January 2014 issue of the Leicester Mercury here .

VRL 2 banner

About Douglas Cawthorne

Reader in Digital Heritage at De Montfort University.
This entry was posted in Mobile device "apps", Roman. Bookmark the permalink.