In 2015 archaeology students Thomas Verhoeven, Rob van Haarlem en Jeroen Bolhuis launched their business Tijdlab – time lab. All three share a passion for archaeology, so much so that at parties people tended to take pity on them. How different it would be if these people could travel back in time to relive certain periods of history. They decided to turn this into reality and so they set up Tijdlab.
The first product Tijdlab came up with was a hologram display case. Although the prototype was pretty primitive, the latest version is nothing short of spectacular; it has a Roman coin floating in a glass cube. For Castle Muiderslot, they designed a 3-D model, developed around a document which mentions Amsterdam for the very first time. The original document is too fragile to put on show but now visitors can view it and zoom in to see details in close-up. Tijdlab has also reconstructed a native Roman farm in virtual reality; people can don a VR headset and take a walk through the farm.
Unique in Europe
There is a great demand from museums and authorities to find a creative bridge between science and culture and the general public. Using modern technology such as holograms, 3D-presentations, gamification, virtual reality and augmented reality, history can be brought to life so people can learn about it and experience it. In this field, Tijdlab is unique in Europe.
Because of its potential, Tijdlab was invited to join the Dutch King on a trade mission to Potsdam. It resulted in valuable contacts which the firm is going to tap to gain a foothold in Germany. Besides the German links, Tijdlab has also established contact with universities, museums and local authorities in Belgium, the United Kingdom and Austria.
Increasing demand has also led to an increase in the workforce. The three partners have been joined by two new employees and if interest continues they will be needing more people with a passion for history and new
presentation techniques. In the next few years Tijdlab expects to double in size.
Tijdlab | Rob van Haarlem