The science fiction novel “The Three-Body Problem” seems to have a natural metaphor for the real society. Looking back now, one cannot help but admire the forward-thinking planning and imagination of the author, Liu Cixin. When the physicist Wang Miao puts on virtual reality equipment and enters the world of the Three-Body, his personality seems to enter another world in that instant. He trudges on the vast desolate land, breathes the air filled with the taste of sand, touches the rough and coarse Gobi, and marches towards the capital of the Shang Dynasty, Chaoge, along with King Wen and others. He meets Emperor Zhou and witnesses the sacrifices, truly experiencing the rise and fall of dynasties and the extinction of civilization.
And now, technology is making “time travel” a reality.
Shortly after the completion of the work, Liu Cixin was asked about virtual reality in an interview, and he said, “Virtual reality is a new experience that simulates a three-dimensional virtual world through computer modeling. Visual, auditory, tactile, and even olfactory senses can interact with virtual scenarios.” “The Three-Body Problem” was published in 2006, at a time when VR technology was still in the realm of imagination for ordinary people. But more than a decade later, the full-view display helmets mentioned in the novel have entered the lives of ordinary consumers, and now that realistic sense of touch is also becoming a reality.
Today, VR technology is entering more diverse fields, such as aerospace, medicine, manufacturing, education, and more. Scene-based simulation and applications are unprecedentedly giving us a more realistic understanding of the world before us. From the initial 3DoF technology (where the perspective is more like a fixed camera) to the current 6DoF (which not only enhances environmental perception but also incorporates many active behaviors, such as micro-movements and body movements). And when this disruptive technology of VR is applied in the field of cultural heritage preservation, the changes we can see are that those artifacts that used to lie quietly in museums are coming to life, given new life by technology, and presented in a scene-based manner to everyone.
They are no longer cold objects, but a magnificent historical scroll. In the project of revitalizing ancient books initiated by ByteDance’s public welfare initiative and jointly created by PICO and TikTok, with the help of advanced technological means, we are able to immerse ourselves and embark on a journey of exploration through ancient books.