• The University of Oviedo incorporates the Augmented Reality to its Historic Building

    July 02, 2012

    This new technology through QR codes provides visitors with complete technical information and high-quality, 3D images of the university heritage.

    A visitor in the Historic Building checks the augmented reality information on her mobile phone, through a QR code.

    The University of Oviedo has incorporated the augmented reality to its Historic Building coinciding with the beginning of a new edition of guided tours, from this Monday, 2 July. With this new technological advance, not only will the visitor contemplate the historic, artistic heritage in person, but he will also hace access to a complete card of each piece through his mobile phone. For this reason, the academic institution has installed QR codes, a system similar to a bar code which allows users to accede to further information and high-quality images of the pieces of art from a smartphone and without any cost.

    The augmented reality combines the real and virtual worlds, which makes it possible to offer further information to visitors. This technological advance offers a wide range of possibilities when recreating a virtual environment, although its implementation isn't greatly widespread in Spain and is generally used for the description of cities or tour routes.

    The University of Oviedo has opted for a model simple and approachable for users with a smartphone, as it is a QR code they can access to it with a click on the phone. This experience has been possible thanks to GAUDEO (Virtual Gallery of the University of Oviedo), which includes a spherical 360 degree tour to the Historic Building and a complete high-quality gallery with specialised information of more than 40 pieces of the university heritage: from the Altarpiece of the University Chapel, to the canvas gallery of Rectors, stained glass windows, sculptures and pieces of furniture.

    Each piece is marked with a QR code which will direct visitors to GAUDEO through their mobile devices. Thus, someone who is before the Mater Dolorosa, for example, will see the physical piece but that person will also accede to its technical information and will even obtain a 3D virtual view of the sculpture.

    Una hora espléndida

    The incorporation of the Historic Building to the augmented reality coincides with the beginning of Una hora espléndidaprogram of guided tours, which offers the possibility of going through different rooms within the emplematic university building, which was turned into the Cultural Centre of University Extension LAUDEO last year and which is generally inaccesible for visitors.

    The visits, totally free, will begin on Monday, 2 July and will prolong until 31 August. From Monday to Friday at 12 pm and 17 pm, and Saturdays at 12 pm in July; and From Monday to Friday at 11 am and 12.30 pm in August. As in the previous year, the tickets can be collected in the University's shop, in the Historic Building's courtyard.

    In this new edition of Una hora espléndida,the University counts on the collaboration of Oviedo's town council within the new collaboration framework between the academic institution and the consistory, which will promote these guided tours in its tourist information points.

    The virtual door to GAUDEO

    The QR code (quick response code) is a system used to store information in a dot matrix display or a two-dimensional bar code. GAUD

    Although some intelligent mobile phones incorporate applications to read QR codes, there are plenty of options according to the mobile phone's platform (iPhone, Android, Symbian or Blackberry) for the user to download them for free on their own mobile phone.

    Once the application is downloaded and installed on the mobile, the user only has to open it, focus on the QR code with the mobile phone's camera, wait for a few seconds for its detection and he will be automatically directed to the point where the complementary information is.

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