Lithodomos VR is Leading the way to Digital Tourism
Australian startup Lithodomos VR was launched into the public eye in January 2017 when it received over $680,000 USD in private funding to bring the ancient world to life in virtual reality.
Since then, the company has begun its rapid expansion across Europe, deploying virtual reality content to tour operators and allowing them to provide their customers with unique and novel experiences. The company has caught the attention of the global tourism industry, and, this month, was awarded second place in the Springboard competition, run by Verband Internet Reisevertrieb – a leading organisation in Germany’s digital tourism industry.
The prestigious award celebrates innovation in European tourism.
The ability of the company’s 3D reconstructions of ancient sites across Europe, including the Odeion of Agrippa, in Athens, the Temple of Venus and Rome, in Rome, and the Arènes de Lutèce, in Paris, to captivate users, marks the beginning of a revolution in the way tourists form connections with the ancient sites that they visit.
The global tourism and travel industry is highly competitive, with a staggering market size of approximately $7 trillion USD. While Lithodomos VR is a small company, it is fast moving and proving itself agile enough to compete in, and disrupt, the market. “Virtual reality is perfectly positioned to revolutionise tourism over the next five years,” said Simon Young, the company’s founder and CEO.
“The best way to understand an ancient site is to experience it, and recent technological advancements make it not only financially feasible, but extremely affordable. This marks a turning point in tourism – an industry that, we feel, will never be the same again.”
about Odeion of Agrippa, Athens
The Odeion of Agrippa occupied central pride of place in the Athenian agora. A gift of Augustus’ son-in-law M. Vipsanius Agrippa, this building was a potent symbol of Rome’s deep respect for Greece’s cultural legacy, and would have hosted musical performances, poetry recitations and exhibitions of rhetoric skill. Constructed around 15 BC, it had a seating capacity of about 1,000. The interior of the building was richly decorated with marble, and the stage building featured alternating marble slabs and Herms.
After the Odeion was destroyed by a fire in AD 267 it was rebuilt as gymnasium, in the Greek sense, i.e. a centre for higher learning. Today, the building stands out as an enigmatic structure during a visit to the Athenian agora, thanks to the three statues of tritons that were re-erected in the 19th century by the Greek Archaeological Society.
Our virtual reality reconstruction brings the observer onto the stage, with views out towards the audience. The striking decoration on the floor and walls serve as a reminder that colour was used as an important element in ancient building spaces.