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Sharing History & Heritage Through a New Medium The American University of Sharjah project bringing the past to life

Two people sit and observe a woman dressed in traditional Emirati clothing stands at the center of a volumetric capture studio stageThrough its robust network of research fellows and collaborators, the Institute for IDEAS is connected with a global community of creators and experimenters on the cutting edge of immersive content. One of these creators is Professor Suheil Dahdal, head of the Mass Communications department at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and founder of immersive media start-up 5th Wall.

Professor Dahdal recently visited the Institute's volumetric capture studio in order to create holograms for his project, Emirati Stories AR Documentary. A combined research project and immersive documentary experience, Emirati Stories AR Documentary explores Emirati history and endeavors to spark an interest in Emirati heritage among young people, while also pushing forward the development of exciting new storytelling technologies.

A bearded man in modern dress and a woman in traditional Emirati dress stand at the center of a volumetric capture studio stageProfessor Dahdal used the Institute's state-of-the-art volumetric capture studio to produce volumetric images, which were then also combined with 3D animations for use in Emirati Stories AR Documentary. These holograms and animations can be projected at historical sites, bringing together the physical remnants of history with the latest in communications technology. This will create a unique experience through which participants can learn and explore history in an experience built on futuristic technology.

"The future is immersive, no doubt," says Professor Dahdal. And thanks to this research collaboration between AUS and IDEAS, now so is the past.