Digital technologies are widespread throughout museums. Computer graphics, virtual reality, augmented reality and holographic display not only help create exhibits but also enhance audiences’ experiences. Holographic display has been used for a long time in the exhibition field by projecting a virtual image through a semi-transparent screen that is spatially aligned with the physical exhibits. Compared with virtual reality (VR) which all takes place in the virtual space, holographic displays enhance the audiences’ perception of reality by displaying additional information on the physical object with the flavor of augmented reality.
As an attempt to further extend the potential of the holographic display, we propose a new exhibition system that combines virtual reality technology with conventional holographic display, and create a prototype to verify the effectiveness. The distinctive features are as follows: 1) 3D display: Even though conventional holographic display is 3D, it displays images on a single layer offering a limited depth effect. Whereas, we use a 2-layer display and apply the stereoscopic imaging to the front display. 2) 3D interaction: Camera faces the audience and tracks their positions and gestures to enable interaction between the system and the audience.
In this paper, we present the design of our system, focusing the user study on how effective is the system in creating the 3D spatial perception. Our initial investigation suggests that the newly conceived holographic display offers the users not only more accurate 3D spatial perception, but also better spatial awareness and realism. Furthermore, it helps the users understand exhibition contents easier and better.