Bringing the past to life again
Historical sites face a lot of competition these days. Nowadays, consumers may well prefer to spend their time gaming, streaming movies, or do any number of other activities. Visiting buildings that have seen better days may be fairly low on the list.
This is where the French firm Histovery comes in. It has developed a technology that lets visitors experience how historical sites looked when they were first built. Now, instead of looking at old walls, old furniture, or just ruins, visitors can see functioning facilities used by the aristocracy or military of days long gone. Stables have horses in them, dining tables are set with steaming plates of food.
“We promise to visitors that they will travel back in time,” says Bruno de Sa Moreira, a Histovery co-founder. His product, he adds, combines history, 3D visualization technologies, and video game knowhow. “What we do is re-create vanished worlds to bring history alive.”
Bruno de Sa Moreira
How it works is that visitors get a computer tablets, called HistoPad, to carry with them during their visits. The cost of renting the equipment is either included in the ticket or it’s charged extra. When pointing the tablet’s camera at something in the site, the display shows a vivid image of how it looked a long time ago.
De Sa Moreira and his business partner Edouard Lussan got the idea for Histovery when visiting Falaise Castle in Normandy. The site had been heavily renovated, making it hard for visitors to grasp how it first looked in the Middle Ages when it was first built.
The HistoPad is a customized Huawei tablet
The quality of visitors’ experience depends on the technology delivering as expected. This is why Histovery chose Huawei devices. They are reliable, are fitted with high quality displays, and their batteries stay charged long enough for an afternoon’s museum visit.
Within France, Histovery is deployed at about 20 sites including the magnificent Chambord Castle (see video below), in the cockpit of a C47 airplane from the Second World War at the Airborne Museum, the Conciergerie Museum, and Fontainebleau Castle. A traveling version of HistoPad exists. It enabled the France Pavilion at Dubai World Expo to display the fire-ravaged cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris in all its glory in late 2021.
Watch this video to hear de Sa Moreira explain the HistoPad.