On the recent Heritage Day in Flanders (Sept 10, 2017), we organised a unique guided tour on the archaeological site of Ename, using a virtual reality visualisation of the abbey gardens in 1663 and 1730. Such a VR guided tour is one of the possible ways of providing GroupVR (see also our WTCB presentation earlier this year).
This virtual reconstruction of the abbey gardens in 1663 and 1730 uses spherical panoramas in a large number of points, allowing to go from one virtual location to the other and in this way, walking around in the gardens, admiring its (reconstructed) beauty from different points of view.
By walking around on the archaeological site in the same way, going from point to point in the physical space (indicated by traffic cones), a guide can explain how the abbey gardens looked like in a certain period, and the members of the guided group can see these virtual features through a cardboard VR viewer (in which they have put their smartphone) or on a tablet.
Although the cardboard viewer without strap gives the best results, it turned out that tablets are the easiest to use, as they require less configuration. In any case, all participants to the six guided tours were very confident that they were much better experiencing the site and learning about its history.
This approach is another way to implement GroupVR and turn 3D and VR into a support for site guides, not a replacement, with the additional benefit of social interaction and better communication between the members of the group.