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posted by janrinok on Wednesday August 05 2015, @04:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-different-view dept.

The British Museum is running a trial of virtual reality technology with a view to offering it as a permanent tool to explore its collection.

Families will be invited to navigate a virtual reality Bronze Age roundhouse and interact with 3D scans of objects. In June, London's Natural History Museum also started using VR technology. Both museums are using Samsung Gear VR headsets.

Only visitors aged 13 or over will be allowed to use the headsets in the British Museum. Families with younger children can use a Samsung Galaxy tablet or enter a dome with an interactive screen.

Visitors will be able to explore different interpretations of how the objects might have been used in the past. Among those on display will be two gold bracelets, discovered at a site in Gloucestershire, and treasures that the museum has not yet acquired. Other objects include a bronze dagger that was not intended for practical use because the blade was never sharpened and a bronze loop - believed to be a bracelet.

Chris Michaels, head of digital and publishing at the British Museum, said: "It gives us the chance to create an amazing new context for objects in our collection, exploring new interpretations for our Bronze Age objects."
Emily Smith, Head of Audience Development at the Natural History Museum, told the BBC: "The VR experience has been hugely popular with visitors. "We've increased the number of slots and are now running the experience daily in response to demand. Visitors have even been bursting into spontaneous applause at the end of the showings."

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday August 05 2015, @05:54PM

    by takyon (881) <> on Wednesday August 05 2015, @05:54PM (#218674) Journal

    What is the maximum Hz of the smartphone displays typically used for VR/Cardboard?

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  • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Wednesday August 05 2015, @11:42PM

    by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday August 05 2015, @11:42PM (#218848)

    I can't speak for anything else, but I believe the Rift is 90hz.

    Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 06 2015, @12:17AM

      by takyon (881) <> on Thursday August 06 2015, @12:17AM (#218860) Journal

      That's the point. The upcoming consumer version of the Oculus Rift is 90 Hz, possibly upping to 120-240 Hz in future iterations. It recommends NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater for the GPU. The resolution is 2160 x 1200.

      So what are others saying about Cardboard or other smartphone VR schemes? The displays might be 2560 x 1440 in some cases (4K soon?), but I imagine the refresh rate tops out at 60 Hz, maybe less. The GPUs are less powerful. I'm guessing that desktop VR gaming will (at first) sacrifice detail and quality in order to meet high frame rate targets and reduce stuttering.

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