Re-Thinking Technology in Museums 2011

 

vwe2In 2005 “Re-Thinking Technology in Museums” brought together a group of academics and practitioners discussing novel ways of conceptualizing the museum experience in light of the presence of interactive technologies. The 2nd edition of this conference on the theme of “Emerging Experience” will further the discussion on novel approaches for understanding people’s experiences in museums and galleries, and for designing interactive technologies to support these experiences. In recent years, the increased presence of mobile smart appliances such as smart phones, and the growth of social media and social networks have impacted on the strategies deployed by museums and exhibition sites to invite, engage and connect with visitors and stakeholders.

Visiting museums and exhibitions represented in multi-user 3D environments can be an efficient way of learning about
the exhibits in an interactive manner and socialising with other visitors. The rich educational information presented in
the virtual environment and the presence of remote users could also be beneficial for the visitors of the physical
exhibition space. In this paper we present the design and implementation of a virtual exhibition that allowed local and
remote visitors coexist in the environment, access the interactive content and communicate with each other. The virtual
exhibition was accessible to the remote users from the Web and to local visitors through an installation in the physical
space. The installation projected the virtual world in the exhibition environment and let users interact with it using a
handheld gesture-based device. We performed an evaluation of the 3D environment with the participation of both local
and remote visitors. The evaluation results indicate that the virtual world was considered exciting and easy to use by the
majority of the participants. Furthermore, according to the evaluation results, virtual museums and exhibitions seem to
have significant advantages for remote visitors compared to typical museum web sites, and they can also be an
important aid to local visitors and enhance their experience.

For more see

Vosinakis S. & Xenakis I., (2011). A Virtual World Installation in an Art Exhibition: Providing a Shared Interaction Space for Local and Remote Visitors. Proceedings of the Re-thinking Technology in Museums 2011,(pp. 253-264), Limerick, Ireland [Full paper]