The XXIV Olympic Games in Beijing, held in February 2022, showcased elite athleticism, patriotism, dedication and devotion to sport and rekindled an interest in the original Olympics—a cultural and competitive extravaganza– hosted in Ancient Greece and lasting a thousand years.
Until now it has been impossible to be immersed within the actual Olympiad site on the Peloponnesian peninsula. Recently Greece’s Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport decided to expand the knowledge of the ancient structures and preserve the history of the site. They partnered with Microsoft and Invisible Thread to develop an interactive, augmented reality experience.
Their collaboration, Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds, digitally preserves and restores Ancient Olympia and shares it with the public through a website, an app, an AR HoloLens experience and an installation at the Athens Olympic Museum.
Users can explore Ancient Olympia in minute detail just as it was when the ancient Greek athletes competed 2,000 years ago. Viewers are able to walk through the site and experience art, culture and history in a realistic, engaging way that was never before possible.
To ensure an immersive, historically accurate experience, the creative teams at Microsoft and Invisible Thread made extensive use of artificial intelligence, augmented reality and consulted with scholars who had amassed troves of knowledge about the era. In addition to the magnificent architecture and rich cultural heritage of Ancient Olympia, the experience focuses on the values of the Olympics: equality, fairness, excellence, peace, respect, cooperation and noble rivalry. The digital preservation project very successfully portrays the unique and emblematic Ancient Olympia in all its recreated beauty.
This new form of digital archiving will continue to offer a portal to another era; help us understand what humanity has achieved so far and remind us of what we’re capable of accomplishing together.
The Common Grounds project is key to ongoing research and documentation of monuments, supports Greece’s travel and tourism industry and builds awareness of 21st century Greece as a modern and strong democracy with a long historical and culturally significant past.
The installation and AR HoloLens experience at the Athens Olympic Museum is open now and will run through October, 2023; or visit the 3D enabled website:
COMPANY: Invisible Thread