Could Virtual Reality make time travel possible?

Kind of...

We’ve seen VR used for gaming and travel, now a project called The Greek Home, an experience originally created for the Great North Museum in Newcastle, is giving us another possibility: time travel. Well, kind of. The Greek Home is by developers Chronicles VR in partnership with Newcastle University and in a now released ‘sneak peek’, you can explore a highly detailed recreation of a house from Ancient Greece. You can either make the experience leisurely, or jump between specific rooms.

© Chronicles VR

Sometimes when you’re walking around museums, looking at artefacts locked inside their glass cases, it can be difficult to imagine how they fit into the everyday lives of people in the past without more in depth context. Taking these items and scanning them to recreate them in the app, the creators of The Greek Room have been able to provide them with real context, placing them inside an accurate recreation of an ancient Greek home, where they would have been used.

This is such an exciting direction for VR in terms of educational and general cool-as-all-hell purposes. I’ve finally given up the idea that I’ll one day time travel because I’m sure if I ever do (have?), I would have come back and stopped myself from doing half the stupid things I’ve done. Thankfully, this is a way around pesky physics and the Butterfly Effect.

VR recreations of historical locations are the perfect way to engage with history and learn with visual context. Being able to explore an ancient Greek home is a much easier way to engage and understand than staring at a black and white floor plan onto which you’re supposed to project some meaningful idea of where the artefacts you’re looking at should go. Not only that, it restores the original colourful vibrancy to these places and items, which is easy to forget when you’re looking at faded paint and ruins.

© Chronicles VR

Hopefully as VR headsets become more widely available we could see experiences like this come into museums across the world, surely only adding to the appeal of visiting.

The Greek Home requires an Oculus Rift DK1 or DK2 head-mounted display (HMD).


Main Image: © ChroniclesVR