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ARea16 - Augmented Reality for Business and Productivity - June 8, 2016, Espoo

Session 3: Engaging People

Museum Explorer

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Timo Korkalainen, Olli Heimo, Sami Jokela, Seppo Helle, Lauri Viinikkala, Teijo Lehtonen / University of Turku

We present the Museum Explorer Augmented Reality (AR) experience for museums and cultural travel sites. With the Museum Explorer system museum personnel can easily create comprehensive, personalised and inclusive AR museum tours. The system utilises integrations to museum databases and for example social media services to enable creation of rich AR content around existing information.

Even though one can present text with displays, audio via audio guides and video and 3Dmodels with integrated screens, with AR one can present all of these at once and thus create more immersive and usercentric experiences for museum visitors. This also generates some challenges as traditional history and museum sciences rely heavily on existing physical objects and descriptions in textual format, whereas AR is mainly audiovisual thus requiring different focus on content.

The presentation describes the design and implementation aspects of the Museum Explorer system and provides an insight into how the Javascript based web development framework Meteor and the widely used game engine Unity 3D, are together utilised to create a content
management and consumption ecosystem strictly aimed for AR experiences. This is achieved in part by employing and extending the Augmented Reality Markup Language 2.0 standard as the communication method between the two different platforms.

The enduser experience is approached via tagging the museum items with myriad of augmented points of interest (POI). The points and their content are created by the museum staff with the system’s web interface, while the audience access the resulting experience
using their own mobile devices. The POIs can feature rich content, such as text, images, video, audio and 3D content and are categorised with a set of keywords. Audience in turn can filter items and the displayed POIs using the keywords.

The filtering of POIs allows the museum staff to use their vast knowledge to enrich the items with additional information while still not providing the audience with too much information. By automatic or predefined filtering of the POIs, customised subtours can be implemented within the museum exhibition so that the visit can be specified for a theme or personalised for the user, thus adding various new and altogether different ways for enjoying the museum

It’s also planned the system will allow the museum staff to source content, such as museum item information and visualisations, from multiple external sources that the system accesses
via third party APIs. The system will also support various social media applications to both generate more content for the museum tour, integrating the museum visitors to the community and crowdsourcing both museum information and advertising information. For example, the accurate tracking employed will allow the museum to gain insight on what details of an item the audience is actually looking at. The presentation will explore the possible measurable value the Museum Explorer can thus add to the museum visit and it’s public relations and advertising.

Timo Korkalainen
Technology Research Center, University of Turku
+358(0)40 502 4205
Augmented Reality Enlightens the Effects of Reformation in Turku Cathedral
Lauri Viinikkala, Seppo Helle, Timo Korkalainen, Lauri Härkänen, Teijo Lehtonen / University of Turku

Our pilot application within the MIRACLE research project (Mixed Reality Applications for Culture and Learning Experiences) is connected with the marking of the 500th anniversary of the reformation in 2017. The mixed reality application will present through life-like scenes the long-term changes in the religious life and the whole Finnish society brought by the reformation.

Turku Cathedral is the obvious site for the application. The Cathedral has undergone big changes during its history of over seven centuries. The altars and sculptures of saints from catholic times have made way for the benches and pulpits of a Lutheran shrine. The side chapels of various saints have been transformed to grave chapels for powerful families. Fires have destroyed some elements in the cathedral and modern interventions still more.  Still, the current Cathedral can credibly represent the great shrine it was already in the 16th century.

The Wordsmith application takes visitors in the Cathedral to the year 1514, and tells about the many changes that occurred during the next 150 years. The story, written by author Tytti Issakainen, is told from a viewpoint of a fictional family. Historical characters and objects are digitally added in the church and made visible through tablet computers. The characters cover both the prominent figures of the Finnish reformation and ordinary people. The goal is an experience that is both educating and entertaining.

The application is under development, and to be released by the beginning of the festivities in October 2016. The target users are the visitors of the Cathedral in general, and also e.g. groups of school children and students. First user tests are planned for the end of May 2016, and the presentation will briefly discuss findings from these.

The technical platform on which the application is based on will be described. This includes coarse navigation using Bluetooth beacons, visual tracking solutions, use of motion capture technology for animation, the Unity 3D game engine, and other tools used in the development. The application will run in users’ own mobile devices, and it will have linking to popular social media platforms.
The Cathedral is a technically challenging setting. For example, the dim lighting is problematic to the visual tracking, and historical changes in the interior should be reflected by virtually removing some physical objects as well as adding virtual ones to the views. Our experiences concerning some of these issues will be described.

The MIRACLE project is developing streamlined, cost-effective implementation processes in multidisciplinary teams. The Wordsmith application reflects this well; the team includes historians, hobbyist actors as well as experts in technology and media production.  An interesting issue is enabling e.g. experts in some cultural field to conduct tasks in media production. In our case, a history researcher designed the clothing for the virtual characters. This reduced the need for a 3D modelling expert, but required tools suitable for non-professional modelers. Such aspects of the production process will be discussed in the presentation.

Seppo Helle
Technology Research Center, University of Turku
+358(0)50 515 1616
A vintage road grader simulator at a car museum

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Markku Turunen / University of Tampere

We will present a vintage road grader simulator based on 360 video, audio, and haptic feedback, and its long-term deployment in automobile and road museum Mobilia, Kangasala. We describe the simulator, its iterative development, and the subjective feedback received from museum visitors over a 7-month period.

Our main motivation for the installation has been to find out how to support the feeling of immersion in a simulator environment by using novel input and output technologies, and to provide a pleasant experience suited for the context for the user, i.e., a visitor of an automobile and road museum. With this installation, our target user group has been families with children, including grandparents, as the Mobilia museum is popular among this kind of population.
The physical setup of the installation consists of a concrete “cabin” including a seat, pedals, and steering wheel, and a video projection on the wall(s). The user sits on the cabin seat and controls the simulator by steering the steering wheel and pushing the pedals. The system responses to user actions by turning and zooming the video view accordingly. Also the audio is changed to enhance the feeling of acceleration/braking. During the deployment at the museum, the simulator environment has been iteratively developed based on the received feedback and observations by our researchers and the Mobilia personnel. The development actions taken to improve the overall usability of the system, and especially to enhance the feeling of immersion include: integrating a low-frequency transducer in order to create a vibrating feeling to the seat, expanding the video view onto three walls (instead of one), and adding tangibility to the steering wheel by limiting its rotation. In our presentation, we will demonstrate the simulator environment and the related development activities by video clips from the scene.

Subjective user experiences and general feedback have been gathered with a questionnaire throughout the deployment. The focus of the subjective data collection has been on museum visitors’ general perception about the simulator, its compellingness as a part of a museum exhibition, and most importantly the simulator’s ability to evoke feeling of immersion. In our presentation, we will describe the subjective data collection, and findings in relation to different development phases.

Based on our analysis and findings so far, the museum visitors have really liked the simulator and agreed that these kinds of simulators would increase their interest towards museum visits. At the time of this presentation proposal, the subjective data collection with the newest version of the simulator is about to start. We believe expanding the video view and adding tangibility to the steering wheel will clearly enhance the feeling of immersion. At least preliminary results on the effects will be presented in the ARea2016.

Our presentation deals with work done as a part of a Tekes funded project MIRACLE – Mixed Reality Applications for Culture and Learning Experiences. We are currently working on a rally simulator setup in a real rally car with authentic 360 video and audio from inside the car during real-world rally driving. A real rally car including the 360 video and audio content on VR glasses will be a part of Mobilia’s Rally Museum which opens in mid-June. This presentation will be supported by the rally case demonstration suggested for the event by a separate demo proposal.
Augmented Reality - fun & engaging music marketing

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Frans Tihveräinen / FlyAR

A flyAR-produced case example of a simple music promotion flyer / postcard, which transforms into something much more with the help of AR-technology. The AR-content linked to the flyer is dynamic and changes around every 2 weeks and gives the user access to new exclusive digital content. This presentation will offer a brief overview of the case and the workflow that produced it.

Frans Tihveräinen
Himmee Creative
+358 50 530 6108

Atte Kniivilä / mFabrik & Jani Leskinen / I2

mFabrik, VTT and Nokia have developed a product called Selfie Wall under EIT Digital HII project. The simple idea of the AR wall is to get people’s attention from the crowd ad start an interaction with them. mFabrik serves as a business champion on the project for the reason that mFabrik has a vast experience working with events, digital advertising, outdoor advertising (DOOH) and Digital Signage.

Getting the people’s attention to start an interaction is the very biggest problem of all the digital gadgets that are around. Once the interaction is created things get easier for brands and retailers to communicate, but the first sections of the AIDA pyramid have been proved to be the hardest. How to get people’s attention, how to start a dialogue with a customer and how to do that in a funny and affordable way? AR might just do the trick for this…

The presenters are mFabrik and an event Organiser I2, who is tackling the attention problems of B2B and B2C brands and retailers with the AR technology.

Atte Kniivilä
mFabrik Oy
+358 50 5060210

Making the Invisible Observable by Augmented Reality – Benefits in Informal Science Education Context

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Salmi, H., Thuneberg, H. & Vainikainen, M. / Helsinki University

The aim of the study was to analyse learning using Augmented Reality (AR) technology and the motivational and cognitive aspects related to it in an informal learning context. The 146 participants were 11–13 year old Finnish pupils visiting a science centre exhibition. The data, which consisted of both cognitive tasks and self-report questionnaires, were collected using a pre- post-test design and were analysed by SEM path-analysis. The results showed that AR-technology experience was beneficial for all, but especially for the lowest-achieving group and for the girls.  

In general, pre-knowledge skills predicted post-knowledge test results. As expected, school achievement had an effect on pre-knowledge results. In addition, motivation turned out to be an alternative key route for learning. Being a boy predicted directly or indirectly all other motivational variables, enjoyment and interest, but girls had a higher relative autonomy experience (RAI). Situation motivation and attitude towards learning in the science exhibition were much more strongly inter-connected among boys than girls, and attitude predicted post-knowledge only for boys. AR seems to be a promising method by which to learn abstract phenomena using a concrete manner.