Giza AR

Giza AR

Creating an AR "window into the past" in collaboration with Harvard University professors, at Giza Necropolis, Egypt.

Creating an AR "window into the past" in collaboration with Harvard University professors, at Giza Necropolis, Egypt.

Giza AR app showing Egyptian tomb hieroglyphs in full colour.
A window into the past — depicting the hieroglyphs as they originally appeared millennia ago.

In collaboration with the Giza Project at Harvard University, the folks at Archimedes Digital and I came up with an AR app for the tombs of the pyramids of Giza — site of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Testing the prototype onsite. The hieroglyphs were originally painted in vivid colour, and our AR app brings them to life again — digitally restored by Harvard University professors of Egyptology.

My responsibility was to create the conceptual designs and collaborate with developers on the prototype. We ran a week-long hackathon in Cairo, and we even got to test the app on the ground in the tombs of the Giza plateau.

Conceptual designs exploring different features: a map guiding visitors through the plateau. A tour explaining each landmark and its points of interest. The ability to explore different artefacts that were discovered at each of the landmarks.

Archaeology and AR, a match made in heaven.

The compelling case for augmented reality apps is that it enables cultural institutions to offer a wow factor for visitors, but importantly, without having to manipulate the physical objects on site. A win-win for both cultural preservation and the creation of an engaging visitor experience.

Partnering with Harvard University.

Through my team's partnership with the Giza Project at Harvard Universitywith over a century of excavation data from the tombs and monuments surrounding the pyramids, we wanted to share the story of the pyramids and the Giza Necropolis like it never has been told before.

These are among the world's top Egyptology experts, and together we created an AR app that is not just visually impressive, but also historically accurate.

Given that we worked so closely with archaeologists, we decided to tell the story from the angle of an archaeologist taking you on a guided tour, listening to them recount the lore of the site that they’ve lived and worked with for decades.

Digitally preserving history with 3D laser scans.

During this work my team captured a 3D laser scan of the tomb of Meresankh III using a Matterport camera. This 3D scan was even featured in The Guardian.

View 3D Tour in Matterport.

The impact this work made was intangible. We wanted to create a proof of concept, and we did. This prototype helped my team secure subsequent projects like the Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Archaeology AR App and the Parthenon AR App. Not to mention lighting a fire under our belly for being able to pull off a successful hackathon in just over a week's work.

Work aside, this was a team outing to remember thanks to the enchanting vibe of Egypt.

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