eHERITAGE (‘Expanding the Research and Innovation Capacity in Cultural Heritage Virtual Reality Applications’) is a Coordination and Support project which addresses the “twinning” challenges described in the topic H2020-TWINN-2015 work program. eHERITAGE’s coordinating institution University Transilvania of Brasov (UTBv) is twinning with other 2 research centres, Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna from Pisa, Italy.

With the help of the new technologies, they bring cultural heritage back to life. The general aim of eHERITAGE project is to increase the capacity, quality, and extent of the research staff of the Transilvania University of Brasov, by establishing strong and sustainable research cooperation schemes with the partners, based on close scientific and social interaction.

By creating applications for cultural heritage sites, eHERITAGE contributes to the spread of knowledge in the fields of history and arts and having a department specialised in these techniques which are based in Romania is the first step in consolidating this research field in eastern Europe. The technologies they use are Augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D.

One of their latest projects has been in collaboration with the Museum “Casa Muresenilor” in Brasov, where they created the first virtual assistant museum based on artificial intelligence. The visitors are greeted by an avatar-like female presence, which appears on a TV screen, the first virtual museum assistant based on a computer program. The Avatar, through artificial intelligence, will be able to provide on request approximately 400 pieces of information on the history of the Brasov museum, exhibition, and events. The virtual assistant is programmed to engage in conversations, use non-verbal actions, gestures, and facial expressions. The database of the virtual assistant will be supplemented in the coming years with new information, aiming to increase the public’s accessibility to the values of local and national cultural heritage.

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