Some of the oldest art on earth was created 36,000 years ago on the walls of the Chauvet cave in France. Nowadays, physical access to the cave is limited to preserve the site.
Thanks to augmented reality, the cave is now almost open to the public again.
Google & # 39; s Arts and Culture team, working in conjunction with the site manager, Syndicat Mixte de la Grotte Chauvet, has published a collection of compelling content that allows the public to enter a virtual recreation of the Chauvet cave.
Users of the Google Arts and Culture app for iOS and Android can explore the cave and view the horse fresco's in AR via the Pocket Gallery function.
After scanning the environment on a horizontal surface, the app places a dollhouse-like model of the cave in the user environment. By tapping the model, the experience is made life-size, so that users can walk through the virtual cave. Hotspots in the virtual space offer more information about the cave drawings.
In addition, history fans have access to the 3D model via the Google Search app on Android. A search for Chauvet Cave returns an "View in 3D" option in the results. In this case, unlike the Pocket Gallery experience, the 3D cave is immediately opened at full scale and although it lacks the hotspots for additional information, this version of the experience provides a shutter release button for taking photos of the experience.
The collection also contains VR content. The Dawn of Art VR experience offers a version told by actress Daisy Ridley as well as a French voice-over edition and is available on YouTube and an independent SteamVR app.
Users can also view 3D objects such as a bear skull and a painting of an arctic musk ox through the Meet Our Flights page on the Arts & Culture website or the mobile app. However, these specific objects do not have an AR display option.
The Art and Culture app also hosts the work of Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Johannes Vermeer through his Pocket Galleries function. Earlier, the Google team also explored history in independent mobile AR apps such as Big Bang and Notable Women.
Increasingly, museums have begun augmented reality through mobile apps, Facebook & Spark 39 and Microsoft HoloLens to attract their in-site site experiences and attract visitors. Google's reverse approach, using augmented reality to bring art and history to observers, is invaluable in cases where rare art is otherwise not accessible to the public.