Patrick Reuter – University of Bordeaux

Associate Professor


The Revealing Flashlight:

The Revealing Flashlight:

Interactive spatial augmented reality for detail exploration of cultural heritage artifacts

Authors: Brett Ridel1,2,3, Patrick Reuter1,2,3,4, Jérémy Laviole1,2,3, Nicolas Mellado1,6, Nadine Couture2,4, Xavier Granier1,5

1Inria 2LaBRI 3University Bordeaux4ESTIA 5IOGS 6CNRS

Keys to Rome: Revealing Flashlight from v-must on Vimeo.

Abstract: Cultural heritage artifacts often contain details that are diffcult to distinguish due to aging effects such as erosion. We propose the revealing flashlight, a new interaction and visualization technique in spatial augmented reality that helps to reveal the detail of such artifacts. We locally and interactively augment a physical artifact by projecting an expressive 3D visualization that highlights its features, based on an analysis of its previously acquired geometry at multiple scales. Our novel interaction technique simulates and improves the behavior of a flashlight: according to 6-degree-of-freedom input, we adjust the numerous parameters involved in the expressive visualization – in addition to specifying the location to be augmented. This makes advanced 3D analysis accessible to the greater public with an everyday gesture, by naturally combining the inspection of the real object and the virtual object in a co-located interaction and visualization space. The revealing flashlight can be used by archeologists, for example, to help decipher inscriptions in eroded stones, or by museums to let visitors interactively discover the geometric details and meta-information of cultural artifacts. We confirm its effectiveness, ease-of-use and ease-of-learning in an initial preliminary user study and by the feedbacks of two public exhibitions.


  • Allard Pierson Museum: Eternal Egypt (July 12th, 2013 to January 5th, 2014) Details
  • starting September 2014: Keys2Rome exhibitons in Rome and Amsterdam


The revealing flashlight for color restoration : Eternal Egypt exhibition at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam


Funding V-must – Virtual Museum Transnational Network  
ANR SeARCH ANR SeARCH – Semi-automatic acquisition and reassembly of cultural heritage  




Journal articles

The Revealing Flashlight: Interactive spatial augmented reality for detail exploration of cultural heritage artifacts
Brett Ridel, Patrick Reuter, Jérémy Laviole, Nicolas Mellado, Nadine Couture, Xavier Granier
Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, Association for Computing Machinery, 2014, 7 (2), pp.6:1-6:18. ⟨10.1145/2611376⟩
Accès au texte intégral et bibtex


Conference papers

La Lampe torche magique : Une interface tangible pour l’inspection géométrique d’objets en réalité augmentée spatiale
Brett Ridel, Patrick Reuter, Jeremy Laviole, Nicolas Mellado, Xavier Granier, Nadine Couture
25ème conférence francophone sur l’Interaction Homme-Machine, IHM’13, AFIHM, Nov 2013, Bordeaux, France. ⟨10.1145/2534903.2534906⟩
Accès au texte intégral et bibtex


Patrick Reuter,