Horizon de Kheops

Virtual hike in the space-time of the Pyramid of Cheops

To visit the Pyramid of Cheops, you can, of course, go to Egypt. Or, push the door of the Arab World Institute in Paris, take the elevator to the second floor and walk for 45 minutes in a room of 500 m2 … empty. As long as you wear a video headset connected to a computer stored in a backpack provided at the start of the course.

After ScanPyramids VR in 2017, the result of the scientific mission carried out in the field with the Dassault Systems Foundation, the Emissive agency proposes The Horizon of Cheops. Specialized in the development of immersive experiences, she was on site at the time to carry out 3D surveys. Initially intended for scientists to visualize the result of their work, 3D imaging has evolved into a more mainstream experience.

Less technical and more narrative content

If The Horizon of Cheops takes up some principles and visual and scriptural elements of Scan Pyramids VR, the content is less technical and more narrative, with a touch of dreaminess (the goddess Bastet is in the game).

Supported by the Arab World Institute and the National Center for Cinematography, the experience draws its strength from wandering in “free roaming”. Thanks to the computer he carries with him, the visitor is free of his movements and spends three quarters of an hour moving in, around and at the top of the pyramid modeled in 3D with a striking photorealism.

Free, but not totally, in reality. The route starts at the exit of a tent erected at the foot of the monument where you have to join a virtual tourist guide (and quite funny). We therefore follow this one in the breakthrough made by Caliph Al-Mamoun in 820, and which now serves as an entrance to the site, in the galleries, in the king’s room, but also on ascending and descending platforms allowing to navigate in the bowels of the building and enjoy literally impossible points of view.

Ghostly avatars

It’s captivating, the view from the top of the pyramid is breathtaking, but all these tricks are a way to channel the visitor on a route set in advance and avoid collisions with others, Emissive having developed a technology capable of managing a large number of people at the same time. By the way, each visitor can see all the others in his helmet, in the form of ghostly avatars.

The scenario repeats in Scan Pyramids VR the sequence of the funeral ceremony of Pharaoh Cheops and his mummification, reconstructing in passing the landscape and the necropolis as they were at the time (with the pyramids covered with their limestone facing now disappeared). However, the experiment is based on new scientific sources and interpretations, benefiting in particular from the help of Harvard Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian, a specialist in the Giza Plateau. But one thing is for sure, whether you have ever seen the pyramids of Egypt or not, you will never be able to see them like this in real life.

The horizon of Cheops, Institute of the Arab world, 1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, until October 2, 2022. Rens. : 01.40.51.38.38

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