WIMI Hologram Academy: The Application of VR in the Construction of Digital Libraries

HONG KONG, July 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WIMI Hologram Academy, working in partnership with the Holographic Science Innovation Center, has written a new technical article describing their exploration of the application of VR in the construction of digital libraries. This article follows below:

In recent years, virtual reality has become an emerging technology that is being used in all areas of society, including libraries. Scientists from WIMI Hologram Academy of WIMI Hologram Cloud Inc.(NASDAQ: WIMI), discussed in detail the core of virtual reality technology and summarized its application status in digital library construction. They also discussed the prospects and directions of applying VR in library construction.

At present, the rapid development of technology has brought many new technologies, including virtual reality. Compared with other new technologies, the application of virtual reality in library construction is not mature enough and is still in the exploratory stage. Virtual reality integrates simulation technology, computer technology, multimedia technology, which can help the construction of digital libraries. At present, there are still much space worth exploring for how to apply virtual reality in library construction, and there are also many problems in the application process. Therefore, this paper discusses the application of virtual reality in digital library construction, hoping to offer some insights in the development of digital library construction.

1.Overview of VR technology

VR, also known as virtual environments or artificial reality, includes simulation, interaction, artificiality, immersion, cognition, telepresence, and network communication. Virtual Reality technology creates a virtual world through technical simulation and enables users to realize interactive experiences in a realistic virtual world through advanced equipment. In recent years, virtual reality technology has been gradually applied to medical, gaming, education and other fields, and the accompanying stereoscopic glasses, helmet displays, 3D mice, remote controls, computer vision and other equipment and facilities have also been flourishing.

Although the development of virtual reality technology is not yet mature, but the pace of related research and application is accelerating. According to data shown, China’s virtual reality market size increase rapidly from 1.58 billion yuan in 2015 to 5.28 billion yuan in 2017, with an average annual compound growth rate of 82.8%. The White Paper on Virtual Reality Industry Development (2019) predicts that this figure is expected to exceed 50 billion yuan in 2019. In addition, virtual reality products are also constantly iterating and upgrading, and more and more VR devices are coming into thousands of homes.

2.Status quo of VR application in digital library construction

The first virtual reality online bookstore in China was born in 2008. Readers can browse and flip through the virtual bookstore with clicks of mouse. With a realistic scene, people feel as if they were in a real bookstore. In recent years, the application of virtual reality in libraries has become more diversified. Here’s an example: readers can put on VR glasses and experience a 3D reading mode in the “Reading Tunnel” VR library of Shanghai Jiaotong University, which is different from flat reading.

In recent years, the annual meeting of Chinese libraries, readers can see a large number of digital library products based on virtual reality technology, such as VR Classics, digital scanning of ancient books, open intelligent bookshelves. VR Classics is a cultural and creative products. The product is fully integrated into the digital resources. Through a VR headset, readers can enjoy an immersive poetry recitation mode.

At present, many college libraries have started to build virtual reality libraries, the main purpose of which is to help the innovation of education and teaching by integrating virtual reality technology, and to improve the level of library services. For example, for the graphic design of architecture, teachers can use virtual reality to virtualize the knowledge. The obscure and theoretical knowledge can thus becoming more vivid through the “processing” of virtual reality. Students can even see how the design be “built” step by step from the virtual scenario. And teachers can clearly present the construction of the foundation, piping, wall construction and other aspects of the building.

Some libraries also cooperate with publishers to turn the difficult reading of masterpieces into a smooth virtual experience. For example, when reading classical masterpieces, readers wearing VR glasses can enter the virtual world and experience the beautiful water and mountains depicted in the book from the perspective of the characters, making the static text come to life at once.

Libraries can use virtual reality technology to make them more realistic and digital, creating a digital reading environment that can be heard and seen and experienced in a variety of ways. A typical example is library exhibition, the use of virtual reality to create a digital experience hall. Readers in the hall put on the seat belt and VR glasses, and then they can see the moon surface, the boundless universe, the creature under the sea in the eyes. Virtual reality will turn static reading mode into 3D presentation mode. Whether it is astronomical and geographical knowledge, or humanities and tourism knowledge, the reader can immerse themselves in the experience, thus enhancing the depth and breadth of knowledge experience. Obviously, the library that successfully uses virtual reality is no longer a library in the traditional sense, but has become a platform for readers to relax, read, communicate and interact.

Although there are more and more applications of virtual reality technology in the construction of digital libraries in China, the application in libraries is not deep and extensive enough, especially for some specialized technologies, such as desktop virtual reality technology, virtual roaming and so on. At the same time, there is a general phenomenon of homogenization in the process of applying virtual reality technology in libraries, and the lack of integration of current emerging technologies has affected the digitization of libraries to a certain extent.

3.Analysis of the prospects and directions of VR application in digital library construction

3.1 Build intelligent VR services based on 5G network

At present, the layout of 5G networks in China is accelerating, and the applications of 5G networks are becoming more and more widespread. With the support of virtual reality technology, libraries can build intelligent VR services by relying on the superior performance of 5G network. First of all, libraries can realize intelligent and efficient information and knowledge services with the help of 5G technology. At present, users have higher requirements for the speed and quality of library information and knowledge, and they urgently hope that libraries can provide convenient and fast knowledge retrieval and reading functions. Relying on the layout of 5G network, libraries can further expand the ways and means of information and knowledge acquisition, and improve the efficiency and quality of acquisition. The library will be able to search and read more efficiently.

Secondly, libraries rely on 5G technology can create cross-terminal, multi-scene VR services. On the one hand, in the 5G network layout using mainstream network data transmission protocols and universal data transmission interface VR library client, VR library can achieve terminal migration, readers can experience VR reading services on the PC, mobile smart terminals and other electronic devices. Readers have no need to go to the library to experience the virtual simulation of 3D library. On the other hand, 5G network can make VR services more quickly and stably transmit information, whether in the library or at home, or in the public environment. Readers can achieve rapid switching of multi-scene VR services, and ensure the efficiency and quality of services. Again, relying on the 5G network, libraries will further highlight their own functions in the construction of smart cities. With the promotion of smart city construction around the world, library VR services with 5G network can further improve the level of software and hardware wisdom, improve the quality of library services and management efficiency, which is important to promote the upgrade of library services.

3.2 Integration of artificial intelligence to create “VR plus AI library”

At present, many libraries have tried to apply VR or AI technology to reader services, but few libraries have integrated VR and AI to carry out related applications. The reason for this is that libraries are not clear enough about the integration of the two applications. In the future, libraries can try to integrate VR and AI to create a “VR plus AI library”. “VR plus AI library” requires libraries to grasp the advantages of the two technologies flexibly and cooperate with each other in the service. On the one hand, libraries can use VR technology to realize the physical simulation of reading services and create a virtual “real library” with 3D technology, presenting the external image and characteristics of the library to readers and showing the elements of the “table” of the digital library. On the other hand, by using AI technology, libraries can explore the connection of each element of the virtual library, and then intelligently analyze the reading needs and thinking of readers, so that the virtual library can be humanized and intelligent. In this process, AI technology becomes a bridge for readers to connect all reading elements in the virtual world, realizes the connection of each element, and shows the elements “inside” the digital library. Through the architecture idea of “VR plus AI library”, the digital library can realize the “combination of inside and outside”. On the one hand, the virtual reality technology makes each functional element of the library become more vivid. On the other hand, the artificial intelligence technology makes each element of the library become intelligent and dynamic. The perfect integration of the two makes the digital library not only reflect the advantages of technology, but also meet the needs of readers.

3.3 Combining AR technology to create a new generation of management system

Augmented Reality is a technology that calculates the position and angle of the camera image in real time and adds the corresponding image. The goal of this technology is to put the virtual world on the screen and interact with the real world. Since AR technology can fully display virtual information, libraries can combine it with VR technology to design a new generation of management system that meets the needs and requirements of digital library management. The architecture of the system is designed with terminal devices, application layer, service layer, data layer and physical layer. Terminal devices include AR smart glasses, VR headsets, smart phones, etc. The application layer contains various business contents, and the service layer contains authentication service, database service, payment service, etc. The data alayer is mainly used for data transmission and analysis. The physical layer aims at physical security to ensure the effective operation of sensing functions, network functions and servers.

Based on the scientific and comprehensive system architecture design, the new generation of library management system combined with AR technology can have the functions of intelligent management, VR panoramic tour, virtual community, intelligent access control, self-service checkout and return. Among them, intelligent management can realize intelligent search and navigation, VR panoramic tour can realize panoramic experience of library resources, virtual community can provide video and voice series experience, AR book can improve reading effect by technical processing of precious or specific books, and traditional function is the traditional function module of the library. The new generation of management system combined with AR technology not only integrates new technologies but also new concepts, which is in line with the future reading needs of readers and the future direction of library wisdom development, and is worthy of in-depth exploration and practice by librarians.

4.Conclusion

In summary, in the process of digital library construction, virtual reality technology has great value and significance. At present, libraries in many regions are trying to apply virtual reality to library services to provide readers with a more contemporary and technological reading experience. The application of virtual reality in the construction of digital libraries is still in the initial stage, and many technologies and fields need to be studied and explored in depth. Looking into the future, the application prospect and direction of virtual reality technology in digital library construction should be combined with more new technologies, such as 5G network, artificial intelligence, AR technology and so on. It is foreseeable that virtual reality technology, as a new hot technology and topic nowadays, will effectively help libraries to realize wisdom and intelligence.

Founded in August 2020, WIMI Hologram Academy is dedicated to holographic AI vision exploration, and conducts research on basic science and innovative technologies, driven by human vision. The Holographic Science Innovation Center, in partnership with WIMI Hologram Academy, is committed to exploring the unknown technology of holographic AI vision, attracting, gathering and integrating relevant global resources and superior forces, promoting comprehensive innovation with scientific and technological innovation as the core, and carrying out basic science and innovative technology research.

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