Have You Seen This?: China's Forbidden City Explored on the HoloLens

China's Forbidden City Explored on the HoloLens

Have You Seen This?: China's Forbidden City Explored on the HoloLens

In this episode of Have You Seen This?, we will look at Oriental Museum by 247 Technology Limited, a free application that hit the Windows Store for HoloLens a few days ago. Museum exhibits seem to be a popular theme amongst the demonstrations going up, so let's see how this one looks.

Oriental Museum

Before we get into my video demo, let's see what 247 Technology Limited has to say about their app in the Windows Store for HoloLens, which focuses on showing off the Forbidden City in Beijing, China:

Among the existing ancient architecture and heritage sites, the Forbidden City is the representative masterpiece which is the most complete with the richest content. Building began in Ming Emperor Yongle Year 4 (1406) until late Qing Cixi's construction of new palaces, the Forbidden City has been through longer than five centuries of operation during Ming and Qing dynasties, and it is now a palace cluster of such grandeur that it covers 720,000m2 with more than 70 palaces and 9,000 rooms. Meanwhile, as the Forbidden City is the imperial palace, it is the museum with the largest number and highest standard of treasures as it collects as many as a million pieces of priceless cultural relics. These grand architecture clusters and shining national treasures are the best materials for Mixed Reality development beyond doubt.

Let me start by saying this to all of you HoloLens developers out there: table scale is cool, room scale is neat, but world scale is fun! If you want wow factor, at least explore it as an option. The device's field of view handles the issues with being too immersive, so I want to scale stuff to life size or even bigger. This one seemed to get close.

Pros:

  • Good-looking map of the Forbidden City.
  • Great music.
  • Voice-over quality was good, though, I have no idea what was said.
  • Scalability is always excellent.
  • Data visualization is a great demonstration of potential capabilities.

Cons:

  • The initial placement object is awkward.
  • While the music was good, the default sound settings are loud.
  • Localization or subtitles would have been useful.
  • More interaction needed.
Image by Oriental Museum/Windows Store

While I am a lover of the arts, only particular types of history interest me. As a result, I have never been very interested in museums. The HoloLens has the potential to make what has been, to me, a relatively stale environment, something that is exciting to explore and learn from.

What types of interactions could be added to this to make it pop? Would you be interested in a museum that augments their exhibits or do you feel the augmentations would be a distraction from learning something? Let us know in the comments.

Cover image by Oriental Museum/Windows Store

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