Free African Society

Archaeological Reconstruction Using the Oculus Rift, Philadelphia, PA

I am a former graduate student in Digital Media at Drexel University. Today I did some finishing touches on the digital recreation of the Dexter House. The Dexter House was originally the home of James Dexter who helped provide a meeting place for The Free African Society which was a precursor to the building of an independent black church. I had worked on the house in the past when I was an undergraduate at Drexel during it’s initial foray into reconstruction and was glad to be able to work on it again. This time I took the digital elements, modified them based on new data and put it into the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display system, that let’s users view the virtual space in 3d when they wear it. The users feel like they are inside the Dexter House exploring it in person. A lot of work was done in recreating and furnishing the interior of the house and further work is being done on recreating the upper stories as well. Hopefully this technology can be applied to future archaeological recreations to encourage participation and immersion.