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The virtual showcase
We present the Virtual Showcase, a new Augmented Reality display device that has the same form factor as a real showcase traditionally used for museum exhibits. Our Virtual Showcase consist of two main parts: the actual showcase covered with half-silvered mirrors and a graphics display underneath. We have built two prototypes so far: a four-sided pyramid-shaped and a cone-shaped showcase. These configurations allow the three-dimensional graphical augmentation of real scientific and cultural artifacts placed inside the Virtual Showcase. We have developed rendering and calibration techniques for displaying virtual objects and annotations precisely registered with real artifacts. Another interesting aspect of our system is its support for two to four simultaneously tracked users looking at the Virtual Showcase from different sides. This feature allows the collaborative exploration of artifacts shown in the Virtual Showcase.