Oct 05 2009

Ars Electronica Center Chooses Dassault Systemes 3DVIA to Develop State-of-the-Art Virtual Reality Applications

3DVIA Virtools Embarks Visitors on a Virtual Journey through Time and Space  

Paris, October 5th, 2009 — Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced that its 3DVIA Virtools 3D application development platform is being utilized by the Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Austria, to allow visitors to make a virtual journey through time and space. Treasured masterpieces or world cultural heritage sites can now be seen without posing a threat to their conservation. Thanks to 3DVIA technology, visitors learn in a new, intuitive way as they directlty interact with the 3D scenarios of the proposed experiences.

The Ars Electronica Center is considered a prototype of the “museum of the future” for digital media and culture and new technologies. When it opened in 1996, the center was the first of its kind to house an immersive virtual reality room tailored to the public. When the City of Linz was declared “Cultural Capital of Europe 2009” major renovation work preceded the re-opening of the New Ars Electronica Center. Today, visitors can enjoy an even more exciting hands-on experience of immersion and interactivity. “3DVIA Virtools emerged as the only 3D application development platform capable of meeting this challenge. The center’s modernization program was behind schedule, which left very little time to create new 3D content and ready the new virtual reality space, called “Deep Space”, based on learning through fun and play. Because 3DVIA Virtools is technologically very mature, it was remarkably easy to use, fast and reliable, allowing us to finalize the first immersive experiences for the new facility on time for the opening of the Ars Electronic Center,” said Horst Hörtner, Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab, the Ars Electronica Development Department.

Immersive Virtuality
Deep Space allows complete immersion in a world of virtual reality by means of two jumbo-format 16-9-meter 3D images projected on a wall and on the floor. Wearing special glasses, visitors move around within the exhibit and the 3D image and can even interact with the content! Learning takes on a whole new dimension in this unique educational space. The possibilities are vast, with featured projects ranging from extreme-resolution images to HD video, interactive narratives and new artistic works.

Visitors can explore the world’s foremost historical, architectural and archeological treasures some long lost, others still standing today, to discover hidden details, such as the ruins of Pompeii, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or the dizzying heights of Beauvais Cathedral, all this without posing a threat to their conservation or the environment. “The breathtaking capabilities of 3DVIA Virtools can be seen in the narrative interactivity application, where visitors are immersed in an interactive visual and musical experience with animated 3D characters. Behind the scenes, arts mediators gather visitors’ reactions and preferences using remote control devices and interactive screens to change the scenario in real time,” explained David Nahon, director immersive virtuality technologies, Dassault Systèmes. “From an educational standpoint, the greater the immersion, the deeper and more lasting the learning experience. Interactivity also makes the learning process more effective.” Nahon continues: “This experience can be compared to the one hundreds of visitors of the Paris Géode live every day, discovering the virtual model of the Kufu Pyramid, realized with Dassault Systèmes technologies.”