The Mogao Grottoes located in Gansu Province, Northwestern China consists of 492 cells and cave sanctuaries carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River in Mogao. They comprise the largest, most richly endowed, and oldest treasure house of Buddhist art in the world. However, for preservation and conservation reasons most of the caves are now closed to the public. Pure Land UNWIRED is a full body immersive virtual reality experience that allows unparalleled access to a world heritage site, which is so vulnerable it can no longer sustain physical visitors. Visitors using Pure Land UNWIRED are enabled to walk around inside the digital 3D model of the Dunhuang Cave 220 at 1:1 scale. The VR platform enabling the experience combines a Head Mounted Display (Oculus Rift), with a camera-based motion tracking (Kinect2 and Leap Motion) to capture movements of a single user’s body and limbs within a small space that is similar to the size of the Cave 220 itself. A laptop carried in a backpack, runs the game engine (Unity 3D), which integrates the tracking with the real-time visualisation. Pure Land UNWIRED was developed in collaboration between researchers at RMIT University and the University of New South Wales in collaboration with City University of Hong Kong and with kind permission of the Dunhuang Academy.
Greuter, S. Kenderdine, S. and Jeffrey, S. 2016, ‘PureLand UNWIRED: New approaches to virtual reality for heritage at risk‘, in Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications, IGI Global, Hershey PA, United States, pp. 76-98.
PureLand Unwired Showcases
Digital Humanities Conference from 1st of July till 3rd of July 2015 in Sydney, Australia
Digital Densities Symposium on 26th of March 2015 in Melbourne, Australia
Real 2015 conference from the 25th till 27th February 2015 in San Francisco, USA.