Explore the Arches - Power it Up!
Festival Area: Power it Up!
Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education provides Malta Qualification Framework (MQF) level 5 Diplomas, level 6 BSc honours degrees and level 7 and 8 postgraduate degrees. The Institute is a recognized teaching institution of the University of London and provides opportunities to read for degrees in the social sciences and computing fields, and is celebrating its thirty fifth anniversary of its inception.
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum 360° Experience: The Awakening
The Institute’s Department of Computing is very active in research, with one particular area of focus is the investigation of how game technology may be transformative in presenting cultural heritage. The project that we are presenting for this Science in the City 2020 online event portrays our work in developing a Virtual Reality Experience of the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum located underground in Paola, Malta. The initial goal of this project that has been achieved is to present an immersive 360 degree experience of the underground temple, thus opening up the opportunity for the many individuals who wish to visit this 5000 year old edifice but are unable, simply because there is a quota of 80 persons a day. And even those who visit, accessibility is to only a quarter of the complex, mostly in darkness and constrained to a steel platform. People in wheel chairs cannot access the Hypogeum.
All these constraints and limitations have been successfully eliminated in the immersive VR model of the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum. Owing to Covid-19 Pandemic, the physical exhibition is cancelled and visitors cannot enjoy the immersive VR experience that has been built, but the research team have developed this 360 degree short film, produced from the actual VR model, for visitors to enjoy from the comfort of their home.
The 360 degree short film may be viewed either on a computer screen – best to transmit on a large screen smart TV, or by using your smart phone keeping it at arm’s length and moving it around in a sphere to view the different parts of the temple. Explore it sideways and from top to bottom, according to your interests. It may also be viewed through a simple cardboard headset device with your smart phone with a downloadable APP for VR downloadable from the AppStore® or PlayStore® to feel the immersive feeling you get from the virtual reality short film.
You may read more about this project on www.stmartins.edu/