MEMORY OF NAZARETH MUSEUM
This weekend, visitors of the INFINITY FESTIVAL HOLLYWOOD will be immersed on innovative VR and AR experiences of CIRIO OF NAZARETH - at the heart of the entertainment capital of the world - Hollywood, California.
The new museum, completely redesigned, was planned remotely using metaverse tools, and is filled with immersive experiences enables visitors to learn how the Marian devotion started in Amazon and grew to become the largest festivity dedicate to Our Lady in the World.
The new museum MEMORY OF NAZARETH, located in Belém, Brazil, utilized a cutting-edge blend of art and technology across eleven immersive rooms, including a permanent VR installation that allows visitors to physically touch a digitally scanned version of the most sacred statuette for devotees of Our Lady in the Amazon region, found in the 1700s. Visitors can also interact via touch on interactive screens and feel fully immersed in the Amazon forest across the art installations.
Video: Interview to JL2, / TV LIBERAL - Globo TV affiliate.
SIMULATED REALITY, a startup located in Westlake Village, California, founded by virtual reality (VR) veteran Danilo Moura Silva, has created a one-stop-shop solution that allows museums to easily and innovatively promote their most famous items.
The new museum inaugurated on October 4, 2022 as part of a special celebrations for the 230th edition of a 2.5 million-person pilgrimage called Cirio of Nazareth. Cirio is the largest event of its kind and is recognized internationally as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
When speaking about using Virtual Reality for tricking our brains, the addition of an accurate tactile response (not to be confused with vibration-only responses, commonly available on VR controllers) truly elevates the immersive experience to a higher tactile level of immersion, which generated impactful reactions that surprised even the experienced creators.
The first permanent VR touch installation was recently unveiled in a new museum in Brazil. Many visitors were emotionally moved to tears. Chairs were added to allow visitors that were emotionally touched to mediate and recover in peace.
Creating experiences that take complete control of multiple senses usually requires expensive setup and frequent maintenance. This makes it truly cost-prohibitive to most of the 35,000 museums currently operating in the United States. California currently has the most museums and the highest US GDP of any state. Even with a very active creative community, and more than 3,000 museums, only a few VR experiences have surfaced. Danilo is passionate about helping change this scenario with an innovative concept - a VR digital twin touchable experience.
“Being able to see world-famous precious artifacts, without protective glass, is the privilege of very few. During the many photogrammetry sessions I have completed around the world, I've always thought about how special that moment was. I've brainstormed ways to enable everyone to have similar access to such an experience, with the addition of allowing anyone to reach and touch." says Danilo Moura, CEO of Simulated Reality.
When planning the new museum for the Cirio Festivity in Brazil, the organizers had a similar goal: -Enable visitors to see up close, in high quality, and gently touch their most sacred items. Every year, in October, millions fill the streets of Belém do Pará, near the Amazon region, in the North of Brazil. Visitors flock to try to get as close as possible to see their most sacred item, a statuette of the Blessed Virgin Mary, found in the year 1700. "Allowing as many visitors as possible to be able to learn the roots of our identity, how it evolved to be the largest Marian procession in the world, and culminating the storytelling and immersive experience with a dedicated room allowing every visitor, any day of the year, to be just one step away from a photorealistic digital twin, and even touch it, was the perfect challenge," says Mr. Danilo Moura.
Simulated Reality provides an unprecedented turnkey solution that enables museum visitors a reach-and-touch experience of a photorealistic-twin-touchable version of precious museum artifacts.
To properly capture content for such Immersive technologies, Danilo traveled through Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Brazil to acquire the highest quality source materials. Danilo used a tailored approach, custom-made for the story to be told in each room.
The acquisition techniques ranged from environment volumetric capture, digital-twin creation using photogrammetry, 360 video, and panoramic photos. The result of this journey is now permanently exhibited on massive 70-inch vertical interactive screens, virtual reality headsets, video projections, and via AR experiences that visitors can unlock using their phones with QR CODE icons printed throughout the museum walls.
The flagship immersive experience allows visitors to feel like they are touching a digital twin of the most sacred statuette in the Amazon region. In this installation, the team created a dedicated room with a custom-made stand and positioned a similar statuette that precisely matches its digital twin's position, which can only be seen through virtual reality glasses.
Users who vest the VR headset are brought into a celebration within the Basilica sanctuary, packed with thousands of people singing joyfully. The sacred statuette is brought close to everyone, but no one touches it.
At this moment, the scene cuts back to the digital-twin original room. The visual photo-realism, associated with the intense tactile signals of "touching a digital twin," created a next-level cognitive immersive experience. Users hear instructions that this is their moment to encounter the Blessed Virgin Mother, holding her son Jesus. Visitors are told they are free to pray, ask for a blessing, and touch it if they would like. The combination of all elements ends up being so powerful that the production team needed to add chairs for the people who were brought to tears. "After a few days of this exhibition, we noticed many asked for a place to sit and meditate while recovering from having a deep experience that truly connected their minds and souls to God through the Blessed Virgin Mother," continued Moura.
In addition, the team previsualized all parts of the museum redesign using virtual reality. This allowed creative team members and consultants to collaborate between Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belém do Pará, Nazareth of Portugal, and Miami, as if they were all in the museum. The creative team also used an iPad with laser scanning and augmented reality (AR) tools to be able to connect remote specialists with local subject matter experts, architects, and engineers executing the reconstruction.
Visitors of the Infinity Film Festival Hollywood will be the first to experience it outside of Amazon, Brazil. For tickets and information, visit www.infinityfestival.com