Augmented reality project brings the birthplace of the Olympics to life


Museum supervisor Xenia Vlahou uses a HoloLens mixed reality headset as she stands in front of a scale model of Ancient Olympia at the Olympic Museum in Athens, Greece on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. The installation does part of a digital restoration project by Microsoft and the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports at ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games.  (AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis)

Museum supervisor Xenia Vlahou uses a HoloLens mixed reality headset as she stands in front of a scale model of Ancient Olympia at the Olympic Museum in Athens, Greece on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. The installation does part of a digital restoration project by Microsoft and the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports at ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. (AP Photo / Thanassis Stavrakis)

PA

What would it be like to walk through the ancient religious sanctuary of Olympia during the Olympic Games?

An unusual partnership between Microsoft and the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports offers the answer to visitors, offering an immersive tour of one of the world’s major archaeological sites that launched on Wednesday.

The Ancient Olympia program harnesses augmented reality technology that the designers say has the potential to transform education, business and entertainment. Critics warn that it will also extend the invading power of America’s tech giants.

The Ministry of Culture helped Microsoft map and create virtual representations in Olympia, a site used for nearly a thousand years to host the ancient Greek games that inspired the modern Olympics.

Users can visit the site remotely or in person with an online presentation and augmented-type mobile app in Olympia, see a virtual recreation of the temples and competition areas as they walk through the ruins. At the Olympic Museum in Athens, they can use mixed reality HoloLens headsets that superimpose visual information on what the viewer sees.

Bow upwards and an imposing statue of Zeus clad in ivory and gold appears; turn left and look into the workshop used by famous sculptor Phidias in the ancient shrine over 2,400 years ago.

Microsoft launched the project last year, roaming Olympia with drones and sensors, after reaching an agreement with the Greek government to build three data centers in greater Athens as part of an investment of up to $ 1 billion. dollars.


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