See the Chauvet Cave in VR with Google

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Chauvet Cave Drawing
Image Credit: Google

Virtual reality technology saw a resurgence about five years ago as 3D tech waned. In 2020 we continue to see its involvement with gaming. Google has made a name for itself by digitally documenting things from around the world and even space itself. Most people are used to google maps or looking up the random question but they continue to take it a step further with combining virtual reality tech and archaeology.

The latest endeavor involves the prehistoric cave, the Chauvet Cave, in Ardèche, France. Titled “Meet Our Ancestors” the latest effort from google is now live. Immediately closed to the public in 1994, after its discovery, to help preserve it, this offers an immersive way for many to see. It isn’t just a passive VR experience either. There are scans allowing a augmented reality experience as well. Users can handle, rotate, and view objects in a three-dimensional space. Curious to check out a prehistoric bear skull? Well there’s one they’ve scanned for this. The free app for all this, “The Dawn of Art” is available via Steam. Available in English or French narrations it features either Daisy Ridley or Cécile de France respectively.

Other VR/AR offerings from Google

Engadget has noted other immersive experiences from Google. How about a tour of France’s Versailles palace? Expanding the reach of photogrammetry, they scanned nearly four hundred thousand square feet of the palace. This translated to over four terabytes of data and also includes AR experiences. Want to look to the skies? Google worked with CERN for a AR experience about the big bang. Titled, “The story of our universe” this one is narrated by Tilda Swinton. The app for this one comes via Google’s Arts & Culture page. It would seem the alphabet company is well on their way to digitizing everything we can see, hear, or touch.

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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