Microsoft Recreates The Birthplace Of The Olympics

OLIMPIA, GREECE – What would it be like to tour the ancient religious shrine of Olympia when the Olympics were taking place? Microsoft, in partnership with the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, has provided the answer by launching an immersive tour of one of the most important archaeological sites in the world on Wednesday. The program at Ancient Olympia uses augmented reality technology, which its designers say can transform education, business and entertainment. Critics say it will expand the invasive power of America’s tech giants. The Ministry of Culture helped Microsoft create maps and virtual representations of Olympia, a place used for nearly 1,000 years as the venue for the ancient Greek sports events that inspired the modern Olympics. “It’s a milestone that helped us bring the technology, culture and history together to preserve it,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a video message to the launch ceremony. The visitor can tour the site remotely or in person through an online presentation and a cell phone app that will allow them to see a virtual recreation of the temples and competition areas while touring the ruins. At the Olympic Museum in Athens, you can use Microsoft’s HoloLens smart glasses that superimpose visual information on what is being viewed. The user who looks up will see a huge statue of Zeus clad in gold and ivory appear. If you turn your head to the left you will see the workshop of the famous sculptor Phidias in the sanctuary more than 2,400 years ago. “I am excited that we can present to the world a totally new cultural experience, using technology to recreate the ancient world of Olympia,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told The Associated Press after joining a group of schoolchildren using the app for the first time. time. Seventh and eighth graders at a local school reduced, enlarged, and rotated the recreated monuments on their cell phones, alternating interior and exterior views as they toured the site where athletes of old competed in races, javelin throwing, wrestling, boxing. , horse riding and other events. “The app is awesome. I think it can help teaching in schools, ”said one of the children, Panagiotis Christopoulos. Microsoft started the project 18 months ago, touring Olympia with drones and sensors, after reaching an agreement with the Greek government to install three data centers around Athens, an investment that could reach 1 billion dollars. Large technology companies compete to create platforms and mixed reality devices that would combine the internet with everyday life, such as glasses that serve as personal projectors to provide information such as alternative routes for cyclists, statistics for fans at sports events or testers virtual home for buyers. It is part of what is becoming known as the “metaverse”, a futuristic online world that tries to merge virtual life with real life. Microsoft’s HoloLens computer costs about $ 3,500. It’s mostly used by doctors or those who do the maintenance of airliners, but the convergence of cheaper glasses, smaller processors and faster internet connections means that it would gradually reach most people, experts say. “I think we are very close to a tipping point where we will see the kind of glasses that feel like the common and are not obnoxious in terms of their physical size,” said David Rose, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and designer of technological products. “The battery will have an acceptable life time, most of the computing will be on the phone. Additionally, I believe that they will pass to tourism and education and other activities of daily life in a few years ”, he added. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen recently warned in an interview with The Associated Press that the metaverse can become addictive and could allow the theft of people’s personal information. Researcher Rose said augmented reality could add “cognitive crutches” to people, eroding their personal computing power and further dividing society, with each user immersed in their own reality. Yet despite the dangers, he remains optimistic. “They can be empathy machines and the most powerful educational tool ever invented,” he said. “They can help train people, give them new skills so they are not left out of work. There are so many possibilities that it seems to me something exciting ”. Connect with the ! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.