PROJECT BY next Ingegneria dei Sistemi S.p.A. with TIM S.p.A., ENEA, Sapienza Università di Roma, Parco Archeologico del Colosseo, Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica.
The VADUS (Virtual Access and Digitization for Unreachable Sites) project is developed in response to the ARTES 20 call ITT AO / 1-10065 / 19 / NL / AF "Applications integrating space asset (s) and 5G networks in L'Aquila / the Abruzzo region, Roma Capitale and Municipality of Turin (L'ART) " from ESA with focus on Cultural Heritage: Fruition & Diffusion and aims to propose new solutions and paradigms for a completely immersive experience with contents enriched by multimedia information, without any constraint in terms of visit path and limit due to graphic processing units, revealing to the viewer also hidden aspects of artefacts thanks to the use, appropriately filtered and processed, of the results coming from instrumental diagnostic technologies.
From early 80s, the flow of international tourists to the main cultural sites and attractions of the country has begun to attract the attention of tour operators to the point of coining the label "cultural tourism" to identify this new emerging market, even if still at niche level. Interest in "cultural tourism" continued to grow in the 80s and 90s, as it was considered a "good" form of tourism capable of stimulating the local economy and helping the preservation of environment and cultural heritage. The beginning of the 90s indicates a period of transformation of cultural tourism which, unlike the original orientation towards "elite clientele", found a new opportunity for further development in mass market segment. This growth has also brought with it challenges and problems, such as the overcrowding of world heritage sites, which led to the coining of the term "overtourism" to identify this situation. Cities like Venice and Rome are invaded by tourists interested in few sites/monuments while the rest of the cultural heritage, offered by the city and its surroundings, remains a hidden jewel of interest for a very limited number of enthusiasts: for example, the Colosseum is visited by about 8 million tourists a year, while the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica does not exceed 400 thousand ones.
Consequently, two apparently divergent trends are emerging: on the one hand the need to reduce the impact of tourists on the most fragile cities, on the other hand the need to increase the number of nights spent by visitors, while also maintaining a high-level offering, as a means of support for local economies.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are undoubtedly the most suitable technologies to meet the aforementioned 'attractiveness' needs of sites, offering tourists new ways of visiting and VADUS intends to exploit the convergence between 5G, Cloud infrastructures and satellite services to offer new visit experiences.
The characterizing elements of VADUS must therefore be sought in the following aspects:
- Satellite services (Galileo and EO) for tourist mobility on-site.
- Use of diagnostic tools in the field of cultural heritage, developed for conservation and restoration actions, to create virtual environments in which a visitor (or a professional) can move, view details (even not accessible under normal conditions) and obtain additional information related to the nature of the materials used and the state of health of the work.
- Creation and use of reliable 3D models, obtained through range and /or image based technologies, which can be used not only for the creation of the AR/VR visit, but also be used both in the historical /archaeological and anthropic interpretation of cultural heritage, both in the planning of conservation, enhancement and fruition interventions and strategies.
- The validation of the information layers and 3D models used with the delegated authority, which authorizes their use for the service when it deems that the necessary quality has been achieved.
- Use of Cloud platforms for storing data layers and multimedia resources to be shared also with the scientific community while preserving intellectual property even from cyber-attacks.
- Use of 5G that allows the creation of virtual visits characterized by the possibility of satisfying many users at the same time, with very low latency and ensuring a wide availability of bandwidth for the transfer of high-resolution models.
- Customization of services as each tourist can choose from a list of services and select the one that best matches his expectations, adapting both the time of the visit and the information received.
/ Website: www.next.it/
/ Watch the VIDEO PRESENTATION of the project realized for the annual event of Torino City Lab (December 2021)
/ Contact person:
Antonio Casoria, Coordinatore progetto