LecceAR is an augmented reality app for iOS 8. This allows adding to a real-world scene, seen from a mobile device's camera, with 3D models of cultural heritage sites as they looked in the past. 3D models are displayed when the user points the device's camera towards a planar target which can be a photograph or an image. The rendered 3D model is anchored to this target in a coherent and smooth way according to user's movements.
LecceAR proposes a novel approach for exploring virtual sites by exploiting modern mobile devices (tablets or phones), their optical sensors, and their increasing computational power. The main focus of this app is to provide an augmented reality experience for cultural heritage sites; merging between virtual and real, and to show to users how such magnificent buildings looked in the past.
LecceAR is based on state-of-the-art image matcher and tracker to provide a smooth and coherent interaction. This is achieved in real-time. The matching and tracking module outputs a stable and smooth OpenGL camera which is used for rendering virtual object onto the real world scene. 3D models are rendered by using a state-of-the-art real-time rendering OpenGL ES|2.0 library which was internally developed during the development of the app. The current system allows to render models up to 3 million textured and shaded triangles at more than 30fps on commodity mobile platforms.
LecceAR has been tested with a 3D model of the Roman Amphitheater in Lecce which was probably built between the 1st and 2nd century AD. This amphitheater is located below the ground level of St. Oronzo square in Lecce, Italy. The building is partially unearthed, which makes this amphitheater a perfect case of study for augmented reality; users can fully explore the entire reconstructed building in an augmented reality setting.