VR technology gives Zagreb visitors a glimpse of the past

A tech firm has developed ground-breaking virtual reality devices that give travellers a glimpse into the past when they visit historical sites.

The VR pole gives a 360-degree immersive view of storied locations, how they would have looked on a specific day in the past, or how they evolved over time. The new devices were installed at Zagreb Cathedral in Croatia and using archival materials let people see how the church appeared just before the devastating earthquake that rocked the city in 1880.

VR Pole users in Zagreb
Visitors check out the VR pole in Zagreb. Photo by: VR Pole

Dragan Vejnovic of VR Pole told Lonely Planet they could be used for all types of animations including famous performances or historical events.He said: “The first ever VR Pole was installed in Zagreb’s Museum of Illusion. This [offered] … an immersion into a personalised performance which creates – spoiler alert – an illusion of stationary objects coming to life and interacting with users. Due to its popularity in Zagreb, the Museum of Illusions plans to use [the] VR Pole at their upcoming international locations, from the United States to Malaysia.”

The cathedral in Zagreb, viewed through the VR Pole
Zagreb Cathedral as seen through the VR Pole. Photo by: VR Pole

He explained that extensive testing was still underway to ensure the poles were durable enough to survive life outdoors. He said: “The latest testing took place in front of Zagreb’s cathedral to the joy of passers-by who got the chance to experience life in front of the cathedral as it was before the earthquake.”

Their research showed that the VR pole had been used by both young and old, the tech savvy and those who were a little less tech-literate. Each of the poles costs around US$5000 to make and creating the technology behind it was a major collaborative project.

Zagreb in 1874
Zagreb Cathedral in 1874. Photo courtesy of VR Pole

Experts from the University of Zagreb helped them develop the pole itself while the VR Pole team developed the software that runs the animations. Dragan said: “The virtual reality experience is created through a creative combination of principles of virtual reality, augmented reality and traditional 3D animation … [all] giving an immersive virtual reality experience for our users.”

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VR technology gives Zagreb visitors a glimpse of the past
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