Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

New Israeli App Lets You See The World...From Thousands of Years Ago

Architip allows users to visualize ancient sites in their original form

By: Daniel Koren

Published: June 17th, 2013 in Business » Israel

New Israeli App Lets You See The World...From Thousands of Years Ago

Israel - a land with a rich and fruitful history - is home to many archaeological sites. In fact, new sites continue to be discovered (just last week researchers from Tel Aviv University discovered a 60,000 ton monument in the depths of the Sea of Galilee).

As such, swarms of visitors arrive in the nation each year, often equipped with a sense of wonderment and a camera, to visit these rustic, antiquated locales, brimming with historical significance and purpose. Audiobooks, guidebooks, and other devices have helped enhance this experience for tourists and Israelis alike, providing them with a sharper, more detailed method of how these sites looked at the height of their historical relevance.

Now, fittingly in a country known as "Startup Nation," a new app has been released that puts all other visionary and audio aids to shame.

Architip, created by a team of image and archaeology professionals, uses an augmented reality technology that allows users to see what the famed archaeological sites looked like thousands of years ago, introducing a new understanding of an ancient world to a hightech one.

Augmented reality is a technology that utilizes mathematics, models, location services, camera technology, and advanced algorithms to bring forth a 'real-life' virtual image. “For example, you might look at an ancient mosaic on the floor of a synagogue or church, and barely see the decorations on it because of the fading,” CEO of the Jerusalem-based Architip, Yaron Benvenisti told The Times of Israel. “With Architip, you would see the mosaic in full color, with all its drawings intact.”

How it works

In order to use Architip, users to archaeological sites simply have to hold their smartphone's camera at the location and look into the screen. The app does the rest.

The Architip Research and Development team first mapped and virtualized the archaeological site of Tel Lachish, once a beautiful, ancient city, but now an Israeli national park.

“With Architip, you can see Tel Lachish as it was,” said Benvenisti, noting that while, “walking through its streets" you can see "the reconstruction through your device."

"People want to experience more, and our technology is perfect for that,” he added.

The self-funded Architip will be available for use this summer. “We have been talking to other sites, and other cities as well,” Benvenisti said. “Countries all over the world are working on ways to enhance their offerings to visitors. This app is definitely going to help them.”

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