3D virtual tour of early computing goes online

Stephen Fleming, Palam Communications  |  Published: Jun 6th 2017
3d tour image, courtesy TNMOC
3d tour image, courtesy TNMOC

Anyone can now have a 3D virtual tour of two early computing galleries at The National Museum of Computing on Bletchley Park thanks to the 3D, 360-degree photography application developed by Venue View Virtual Tours.

Viewers can move around the galleries looking at the machines and their descriptions with the added bonus of hyperlinks to video and text explanations providing further detail and history of the exhibits.

To see the 3D virtual tour: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=Vz8kCqGRjQA

Kevin Murrell, a trustee at The National Museum of Computing, said “The virtual tour is quite incredible and a dramatic way of realising how far technology has come in a few decades. We are seeing 1950s computers with 2017 tech and getting a convincing dolls-house view of the galleries that is impossible to see in real life! It’s a marvellous tool to attract people to come to see the museum in real life - even regular visitors will see something new.”

Just like Google Street View, users can move around the galleries and zoom in on points of interest. They can read the explanations already displayed in the galleries and have the added bonus of links to further information and even videos of machines in action. At the WITCH, for example, they can click on a link to see the moment when the oldest computer in the world was rebooted after restoration in 2012.

Explaining the versatile technology behind Venue View, its managing director Keith McMahon said, “With our specialist camera, we can record any venue in 360 HD in a short space of time with no interference to anything in the scene. As well as the tours being viewable in virtual reality, the addition of infra-red cameras means we can capture a 3D version of any venue to give a life-like representation of the space from above.”

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