The Role of 3D Models in Virtual Heritage Infrastructures

Champion, Erik
The success of virtual heritage projects, through the careful inspection, contextualization and modification of 3D digital heritage models with virtual reality technology, is still problematic. Models are hard to find, impossible to download and edit, in unusual, unwieldy or obsolete formats. Many of the freely available models are standalone 3D meshes with no accompanying metadata or information on how the acquisition of the data. Few have information on if or how the models can be shared (and if they are editable). Fewer still quantify the accuracy of the scanning or modelling process, or make available the scholarly documents, field reports, photographs and site plans that allowed the designers to extract enough information for their models.

Augmented Reality Experience: From High-Resolution Acquisition to Real Time Augmented Contents

Clini, Paolo
This paper presents results of a research project “dUcale” that experiments ICT solutions for the museum of Palazzo Ducale (Urbino). In this project, the famed painting the “Citt`a Ideale” becomes a case to exemplify a specific approach to the digital mediation of cultural heritage. An augmented reality (AR) mobile application, able to enhance the museum visit experience, is presented. The computing technologies involved in the project (websites, desktop and social applications, mobile software, and AR) constitute a persuasive environment for the artwork knowledge. The overall goal of our research is to provide to cultural institutions best practices efficiently on low budgets. Therefore, we present a low cost method for high-resolution acquisition of paintings; the image is used as a base in AR approach. The proposed methodology consists of an improved SIFT extractor for real time image. The other novelty of this work is the multipoint probabilistic layer. Experimental results demonstrated the robustness of the proposed approach with extensive use of the AR application in front of the “Citt`a Ideale” painting. To prove the usability of the application and to ensure a good user experience, we also carried out several users tests in the real scenario.

e-Papers from the 40th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology

Earl, Graeme
This volume is an extension of the printed volume “Archaeology in the Digital Era. Papers from the 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Southampton, 26-29 March 2012. It consists of a selection of the peer-reviewed papers presented at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology 2012 conference hosted by the Archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton, UK between 26th and 30th March 2012. The conference included 53 sessions divided between the themes of simulating the past, spatial analysis, data modelling and sharing, data analysis, management, integration and visualisation, geospatial technologies, field and lab recording, theoretical approaches and the context of archaeological computing, and a general theme. In addition there were 12 workshops. A total of 380 papers and posters were presented, and two key note addresses. Alongside the lively conference atmosphere at the venue there was a thriving social media back channel. In addition to these proceedings there is therefore a broad ranging multimedia record of the event, accessible via the conference website.

Augmented Reality (AR) in Urban Heritage Tourism

Han, Dai-In, and Timothy Jung.
New technology has been seen as a way for many businesses in the tourism industry to stay competitive and enhance their marketing campaign in various ways. AR has evolved as the buzzword of modern information technology and is gaining increasing attention in the media as well as through a variety of use cases. This trend is highly fostered across mobile applications as well as the hype of wearable computing triggered by Google’s Glass project to be launched in 2014. However, although research on AR has been conducted in various fields including the Urban Tourism industry, the majority of studies focus on technical aspects of AR, while others are tailored to specific applications. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the current implementation of AR in the Urban Tourism context and identifies areas of research and development that is required to guide the early stages of AR implementation in a purposeful way to enhance the tourist experience. The paper provides an overview of AR and examines the impacts AR has made on the economy. Hence, AR applications in Urban Tourism are identified and benefits of AR are discussed.

An Augmented Reality Interface for Visualizing and Interacting with Virtual Content

Fotis Liarokapis
In this paper, a novel AR interface is proposed that provides generic solutions to the tasks involved in augmenting simultaneously different types of virtual information and processing of tracking data for natural interaction. Participants within the system can experience a real-time mixture of 3D objects, static video, images, textual information and 3D sound with the real environment. The userfriendly AR interface can achieve maximum interaction using simple but effective forms of collaboration based on the combinations of humancomputer interaction techniques. To prove the feasibility of the interface, the use of indoor AR techniques are employed to construct innovative applications and demonstrate examples from heritage to learning systems. Finally, an initial evaluation of the AR interface including some initial results is presented.

Use of Augmented Reality in Learning

Molnár, György
Augmented reality offers great solutions in learning because most of high school students are familiar with them. Augmented reality-based applications such as the Pokémon Go 3D, or Quiver and HP Reveal can be used effectively in education. Using AR technology, teachers or even students can create content. For example, triggers using the provided website. The triggers can be image or videos, so the AR experience can be customized. In this study, authors first introduce the augmented reality and a specific application, Pokémon Go, then demonstrate the use of AR in education and finally present a survey conducted among students of a higher education in Hungary.

Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) technologies for tourism and hospitality industry

Nayyar, Anand, et al.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, these days, is offering many useful applications that is attracting greater attention from tourism researchers and professionals. As, AR and VR technologies are evolving, the number of scientific applications is also at increase. VR and AR are proving their worth especially when planning, marketing, education, tourist sport preservation coming to light. The aim of this research paper is to highlight top technologies for Tourism and Hospitality with regard to AR and VR.

Augmented reality applications in tourism

ÖZKUL, Emrah, and Sarp Tahsin Kumlu
This study aims to examine the use of the application in tourism field on the question of what augmented reality applications mean, which is one of the endpoints of technology for tourism. With the study of in-depth literature, firstly augmented reality has been determined, and the changes and developments it has undergone throughout the history have been examined. Then, its areas of use and the types have been examined.

A survey of mobile and wireless technologies for augmented reality systems

Papagiannakis, George
Recent advances in hardware and software for mobile computing have enabled a new breed of mobile AR systems and applications. A new breed of computing called “augmented ubiquitous computing” has resulted from the convergence of wearable computing, wireless networking and mobile AR interfaces. In this paper we provide a survey of different mobile and wireless technologies and how they have impact AR. Our goal is to place them into different categories so that it becomes easier to understand the state of art and to help identify new directions of research.

Augmented Reality Applications: The Impact of Usability and Emotional Perceptions on Tourists’ App Experiences

Stangl, Brigitte, et al.
There is a rising amount of research contributing to the knowledgebase of Augmented Reality (AR) application usage. However, up until now there is no sound understanding about how the emotional perception of AR application users impact on different types of experience. This paper aspires to contribute to this gap by analysing the link between usability, emotional perception (i.e. entertainment, playfulness and enjoyment), two types of experience viz. action- and emotional experience and users’ intention to use the app in a travel context. 796 questionnaires show that emotional experience is driven by entertainment while action experience is mainly triggered by playfulness. However, only emotional experience impacts on users’ intention to use the AR app. Action experience has no significant effect. Findings will be discussed in the light of previous literature and managerial implications will be provided.

A Theoretical Model of Mobile Augmented Reality Acceptance in Urban Heritage Tourismv

Tom Dieck, M. Claudia, and Timothy Jung
Latest mobile technologies have revolutionised the way people experience their environment. Recent research explored the opportunities of using augmented reality (AR) in order to enhance the user experience however, there is only limited research on users’ acceptance of AR in the tourism context. The technology acceptance model is the predominant theory for researching technology acceptance. Previous researchers used the approach of proposing external dimensions based on secondary literature; however missed the opportunity to integrate context specific dimensions. This paper therefore aims to propose an AR acceptance model in the context of urban heritage tourism. Five focus groups, with young British female tourists visiting Dublin and experiencing a mobile AR application, were conducted. The data were analysed using thematic analysis and revealed seven dimensions that should be incorporated into AR acceptance research including information quality, system quality, costs of use, recommendations, personal innovativeness and risk as well as facilitating conditions.

3D Visualization via Augmented Reality: The Case of the Middle Stoa in the Ancient Agora of Athens

Styliani Verykokou, Charalabos Ioannidis and Georgia Kontogianni
Augmented reality is a rapidly evolving technology that enriches reality with computer generated information as well as a powerful tool that provides innovative ways of information access at cultural heritage sites. In this paper, an augmented reality application that allows the visualization of a part of the Middle Stoa in the Ancient Agora of Athens is presented. Users of this application, pointing their tablet PC at the present situation, have the opportunity to see what this building looked like in ancient times, as its three dimensional model is displayed on the camera view of their device, projected on the modern-day ruins.

A digital look at physical museum exhibits

Jens Keil, Laia Pujol, Maria Roussou, Timo Engelke, Michael Schmitt, Ulrich Bockholt, Stamatia Eleftheratou
In this paper we present the design of handheld Augmented Reality (AR) experiences that are seamlessly incorporated into interactive museum narratives, specifically for the Acropolis Museum. The experiences start by forming a visitor profile that later dynamically adapts the narrative, including the AR activities, to the user‘s behaviour. In this cohesive narrative context, the AR activities provide four ways to digitally look at the exhibits: virtual reconstruction of the original aspect; placement in the original location; visual highlighting of interesting details and annotations; and recreation of mythological appearances. The challenges of this design are presented, conluding with a discussion and lessons learned.

History and Cultural Heritage in Virtual Environments

Erik Champion
Applying virtual reality and virtual-world technology to historical knowledge and to cultural heritage content is generally called virtual heritage, but it has so far eluded clear and useful definitions, and it has been even more difficult to evaluate. This chapter examines past case studies of virtual heritage; definitions and classifications of virtual environments and virtual worlds; the problem of convincing, educational, and appropriate realism; how interaction is best employed; the question of ownership; and issues in evaluation. Given the premise that virtual heritage has as its overall aim to educate and engage the general public (on the culture value of the original site, cultural artifacts, oral traditions, and artworks), the conclusion suggests six objectives to keep in mind when designing virtual worlds for history and heritage.

The MIT Museum Glassware Prototype: Visitor Experience 2 Exploration for Designing Smart Glasses

Marco Mason
With the growth of enthusiasm for the adoption of wearable technology in everyday life, the museum world has also become interested in understanding whether and how to employ smart glasses to engage visitors with new interpretative experiences. The growing interest in wearable technology encourages experimentation with smart glasses, as this trend is going to influence digital media interpretation for museums in the near future. To explore the use of smart glasses in the museum, a Glassware prototype was designed and tested through a field experiment that took place at the Robotics Gallery at the MIT Museum. During the experiment, I observed and then interviewed participants. Finally, I analysed the data following a qualitative research approach. The findings of this study have to be seen as an initial contribution to the design of latest generation of smart glass apps, providing reflections for further studies and projects.

Mobile Augmented Heritage: Enabling Human Life in ancient Pompeii

George Papagiannakis, Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann
We propose a new methodology for real-time mobile mixed reality systems that feature realistic simulations of animated virtual human actors (clothes, body, skin, face) who augment real environments and re-enact staged storytelling dramas. Although initially targeted at Cultural Heritage Sites, the paradigm is by no means limited to such subjects. The abandonment of traditional concepts of static cultural artifacts or rigid geometrical and 2D textual augmentations with 3D, interactive, augmented historical character-based event representations in a mobile and wearable setup, is the main contribution of the described work as well as the proposed extensions to AR Enabling technologies: a VR/AR character simulation kernel framework with character to object interaction, a markerless camera tracker specialized for non-invasive geometrical registration on heritage sites and a PRT mixed reality illumination model for more consistent real-virtual real-time rendering. We demonstrate a real-time case study on the actual site of ancient Pompeii.

Mobile Augmented Reality edutainment applications for cultural institutions

Thomas Chatzidimitris, Evangelia Kavakli , Maria Economou, Damianos Gavalas
The paper focuses on current practice regarding the application of mobile Augmented Reality (AR) technologies for enabling learning in the context of cultural heritage. It also presents ARmuseum, an application developed for the Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production in Lesvos (MBEL). Finally, it discusses a number of issues related to the evaluation of mobile AR applications for cultural institutions.

Survey Enhancement of Projection and Recognition in Augmented Reality System

Snehprabha M. Davare, Rahul Vasant Chavan
The enormous technological improvements around the world have created momentous challenging competition among companies where each of the companies tries to attract the customers using different techniques. One of the most popular techniques is Augmented Reality. The field of augmented reality grows and improves remarkably in some areas. The AR is a new technological trend which is capable of presenting possibilities that are difficult for other technologies to offer and meet. Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of physical and real word environment whose essentials are augmented by computer generated sensors. Augmented Reality can be defined as demonstration of computer generated virtual characters on a live view of the real world. This paper describes the difference between augmented and virtual realities, types of augmented reality, current mobile applications available in market using AR.

A Prototypical Interactive exhibition for the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

D. Grammenos, X. Zabulis, D. Michel, P. Padeleris, T. Sarmis, G. Georgalis, P. Koutlemanis, K. Tzevanidis, A. A. Argyros, M. Sifakis, P. Adam-Veleni, C. Stephanidis
In 2010, the Institute of Computer Science of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (ICS-FORTH) and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (AMTh) collaborated towards the creation of a special exhibition of prototypical interactive systems with subjects drawn from ancient Macedonia, named “Macedonia from fragments to pixels”. The exhibition comprises seven interactive systems based on the research outcomes of ICS-FORTH’s Ambient Intelligence Programme. Up to the summer of 2012, more than 165.000 people have visited it. The paper initially provides some background information, including related previous research work, and then illustrates and discusses the development process that was followed for creating the exhibition. Subsequently, the technological and interactive characteristics of the project’s outcomes (i.e., the interactive systems) are analysed and the complementary evaluation approaches followed are briefly described. Finally, some conclusions stemming from the project are highlighted.

Flow, Staging, Wayfinding, Personalization: Evaluating User Experience with Mobile Museum Narratives

Maria Roussou and Akrivi Katifori
A multitude of challenges comes into play when attempting to design (and evaluate) an interactive digital storytelling experience for use by visitors in a museum. This paper reports on the evaluation of the prototype mobile-based storytelling “guides” designed, developed and deployed as part of a research project at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece. Experiences designed for different visitor profiles were evaluated several times throughout the iterative design process, in a number of on-site studies, and with more than 180 museum visitors of all ages (with this paper reporting on two studies conducted with a total of 53 users visiting individually or in pairs). The evaluation methods included ethnography (i.e., observation of visitors in the Museum’s galleries), pre- and post-experience in-depth interviews and questionnaires to measure the Users’ Experience (UX), as well as data logging. The analysis of the data focused on themes representing components of the experiences, such as interactive story plot and narration, staging and way-finding in the physical space, personalization and social interaction. Our findings confirmed that understanding UX and what makes it effective or not in the rich context of a cultural setting is a complex endeavor. The paper discusses our findings and proposes relevant recommendations for the design of digital experiences for cultural, educational, and recreational purposes.

The virtual reconstruction of torre guaceto landscape

Erik ChampionItalo Spada, Ferdinando Cesaria, Francesco Chionna, Anna Marina Cucinelli
The search for alternative and technological solutions for enhancing the cultural and archaeological patrimony represents a difficult challenge for the Information and Communications Technology market. In recent years, there has been such a boom in the number of tools and applications for communication that it has become difficult to be innovative. Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality – commonly driven by giants like Apple and Samsung – have offered a new user-friendly approach to digital environments. As for cultural heritage, unfortunately, the widespread usage of new technologies has been associated with a lack of attention to scientific data and its “cultural” message. Thus, while in the last decade APP and multimedia products have impoverished scientific data in favor of entertainment contents, today there is a need to move beyond entertainment in order to support smart products that are able to enhance culture and research and to guarantee access to target users. To succeed, collaboration between different professionals with a variety of skills and proper scientific support becomes very important.