United 3D Labs has developed the virtual tours for the Samsung Gear VR headset for the conservation of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Kazakhstan project.

Virtual reality has become indeed an integral part of a variety of completely different areas of human life: from games and entertainment to serious industrial simulators and educational programs. The fruits of modern digital technologies can be also utilized for the conservation of the country’s cultural heritage.

Unfortunately, historical monuments, objects of art and cultural artifacts, no matter how beautifully they are created, get destroyed over time. No physical objects are able to resist the flow of its destructive power.

As we know, a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Not to let that happen the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan is actively working on preserving its cultural heritage. Both classical conservation and restoration works are carried out, and the most modern digital technologies are used. It is obvious that the classical approach only allows us to delay the destruction of objects (although it must be admitted, for a very significant period), but the digitization of objects can completely solve the problem: unique works of art will be appreciated by our descendants thousands of years in the future. Of course, digitization requires increasingly sophisticated technology, which is not perfect yet, but it is developing rapidly and in a few decades a digital copy will be indistinguishable from the original object.

Another significant advantage of virtual reality is that with its help people who are keen on history can visit the most inaccessible parts of the world and examine cultural artifacts there with their own eyes. The programs on the digitization of sacred places operating in Kazakhstan allow everyone to take virtual tours to the world-famous sights. They use a variety of virtual reality solutions, including those based on Samsung Gear VR headsets. The advantages are such features as mobility (no need for a desktop computer, and therefore no wires) and its low cost. On top of that, the computational capabilities of the modern mobile phones that are used in Gear VR are quite sufficient to create a complete virtual tour with photo-realistic three-dimensional objects and stereo panoramas of historic places.

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