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Virtual Flashlight Reveals Secrets of Ancient Artefacts

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A new way to reveal points of interest.

The Revealing Flashlight projects computer-generated models onto actual objects to fill in missing details.

Credit: Brett Ridel

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam and the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) are testing the Revealing Flashlight, a system that projects computer-generated models onto real objects, filling in missing details wherever the spotlight lands.

"We have more and more virtual objects available, either from real objects that have been scanned or virtually created objects that have been 3D printed," says Patrick Reuter, the project's lead researcher at INRIA. "But there's information missing. Sometimes you get more from virtual objects, and other information from physical objects."

The researchers use common scanning techniques such as structured-light three-dimensional scanning or photogrammetry to create a computer model of an object, which helps identify important curves or ridges in the object.

"It's a great application for use in museums, particularly for visitors who may not have detailed knowledge of the exhibit or artifact," says University of Pennsylvania professor Susan Yoon.

From New Scientist
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