Enhancing Views of History: Terracotta Warriors and Augmented Reality

The Franklin Institute

2017
$300,000

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, The Franklin Institute, installation view. Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, The Franklin Institute, augmented reality demonstration. Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, The Franklin Institute, installation view. Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, The Franklin Institute, installation view. Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, The Franklin Institute, entrance view. Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute will enhance the visitor experience of its upcoming exhibition, Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor, with augmented reality (AR) technology that will bring to life 2,200-year-old artifacts from the burial site of China’s first emperor. Visitors will access AR experiences—which display digital pictures that fit seamlessly with the real-world surroundings of the galleries—through an app on their mobile devices. Terracotta Warriors includes 10 full-size ancient statues and nearly 150 artifacts, including Pre-Imperial Qin objects, Han pottery figurines, palace models, and painted warrior replicas. Dynamic computer-generated imagery will depict what the statues may have looked like when they were first built, and will help visitors more fully understand the science of how time and chemical processes affect artifacts. The exhibition, produced in partnership with the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, will open in the fall of 2017.