Industrial Heritage Seen Through the Lens of a Virtual Reality Experience

Checa, David | Alaguero, Mario | Bustillo, Andres
In "Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Computer Graphics", "2017"

20th century industrial heritage, hardly a mainstream area of study, is rarely presented in exhibitions to the general public in Spain. Many abandoned industrial heritage sites are simply left to deteriorate with no attempt to learn from their past. In this paper, the construction and validation of three different Virtual Reality environments are reported. These Virtual Reality environments will be included in an exhibition on some of the first factories established in Burgos (Spain) in the 1960s. The environments were generated using different 3D head-mounted displays – Oculus Rift™ and card-boards, and 2D Displays running under different game engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity. Three environments were created: a 2D-virtual tour game in a small factory manufacturing steel sheets; a 3D-mobile virtual reality window to follow the expansion of a small car-component manufacturer into a leading TIER1 automotive sector company; and, a final general overview of the effect of the new companies on the development of the city using Oculus Rift displays. This research focuses on the advantages of each technology for a different objective and the analysis of the effort required to run it properly in a final application, concluding that the game engine Unreal Engine provides more photorealistic results in 3D-environments with high user-interaction capabilities, while Unity is better in 360º environments that show time evolution running on devices such as mobile phones, with low-computing power.