Augmented Reality Can Now Resurrect Extinct Animals
Scientists are working on ways to bring extinct animals like the wooly mammoth or the passenger pigeon back from the dead. But these won’t be animals paraded around in a zoo—for the rest of us in the general public, we won’t be able to glimpse these ancient critters in the flesh. For something like that, we turn to one of the hottest buzzwords in tech right now: augmented reality.
Thanks to a team of researchers in California, hosting an American lion, dire wolf or saber-toothed tiger right in one’s own living room will be possible through AR technology. In a study published in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica on Tuesday, a team of researchers and designers created more than a dozen scientifically accurate virtual models of animals from the Ice Age, a period during Earth’s natural history marked by huge continental glaciers and colder global temperatures lasting millions of years. The collaborative effort between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, La Brea Tar Pits, and the University of the South California, bridges design with paleontological research to create an innovative tool not just for the average person but scientists as well.
The researchers were inspired to create the virtual models to investigate the role of AR in the museum experience. They quickly discovered there weren’t any accurate virtual models of Ice Age animals they could use for their own research, Matt Davis, exhibition developer at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the study’s lead author, told The Daily Beast.
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