What tools and technologies do we need in order to facilitate and disseminate VR? What standards can we establish in underlying technologies? What existing tools can we recognize? What state-of-the-
art technologies, platforms and tools do we recognize? What tools do museums need? What standards do users expect?

Keywords: interaction design, user experience, tools, technologies, user interaction, community building, digital, 2D, 3D, social media, platforms

An extensive analysis and overview of availability of, needs for and use of technologies surrounding VR/AR used by CH. This includes interfaces, user interaction, community building, design, embodiment, tools, technologies, programming languages, etc.

WG2.1 has the following scope and objectives:

  • to create an overview of available tools and technologies surrounding VR/AR that are, can or should be used by CH.
  • to create an overview of tools and technologies that are required by CH to create VR/AR.

To achieve this, the representing stakeholders will create and asses (items on) a list concerning five topics. These are:

  1. design (interaction design, graphic design)                                                                                                                                                                     a) A visual designer is the one who pushes pixels. If you ask a non-designer what a designer does, this is probably what comes to mind first. Visual designers are not concerned with how screens link to each other, nor how someone interacts with the product. Instead, their focus is on crafting beautiful icons, controls, and visual elements and making use of suitable typography. Visual designers sweat the small details that others overlook and frequently operate at the 4X to 8X zoom level in Photoshop.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        b) User interface designers are particular about how the product is laid out. They are in charge of designing each screen or page with which a user interacts and ensuring that the UI visually communicates the path that a UX designer has laid out. For example, a UI designer creating an analytic dashboard might front load the most important content at the top, or decide whether a slider or a control knob makes the most intuitive sense to adjust a graph. UI designers are also typically responsible for creating a cohesive style guide and ensuring that a consistent design language is applied across the product. Maintaining consistency in visual elements and defining behavior.                                    
  2. user experience

The process and methods of scientific validation of VM information (currently quite advanced concerning the visualisation of antiquities and objects but not sufficiently elaborated and structured concerning multiple experiences and interaction of the visitor with VM)

Interactive personalisation by users of the viewing experience and depth of information depending on their interests, age, technical skills and depth of understanding

UX designers are primarily concerned with how the product feels. A given design problem has no single right answer. UX designers explore many different approaches to solving a specific user problem. The broad responsibility of a UX designer is to ensure that the product logically flows from one step to the next.

There are 2 types of users of VR reality as far as museums are concerned: ones that are live visitors in the gallery (they can experience AR/VR with help of headsets borrowed from museum and informed by personal or specialized staff), and the second are the users online, or the ones that are not physically present in the spot – they have different user-experience levels.

  1. tools (heritage tools that give access to VR/AR)

    Addressing the fundamental issues required, e.g. workable frameworks for image rights and the ability of museums to support new ICT. Basic information about cultural heritage specifics / cultural artifacts or objects stored in museums. Availability of HD photographs, 4K videos, hypertext, digital information, 3D scans. Gallery space with paintings available for transformation / digitization. Recommended resolution for high quality digital reproductions.

    To give insight into the steps to be taken before implementing VR/AR in a heritage experience

  2. user interaction (social media, community building, gamification, citizen science, etc.)

    The use of social media networks to enhance the dissemination process of published content by linking users together, sharing their experiences and creating groups of interest. identification of content.

    On-line games/gamification. Through games we achieve user interaction / raising of interest. Extension of AR/VR into social media. Community building are workshops, online events, conferences, artist talks, #ask-the-curator via Twitter, live streaming over Twitter and Facebook.

  3. technologies (software program languages, hardware, etc)

    The selection of different interfaces (hand-held, PC-based, integrated, smart replicas) that allow seamlessly blending or being an addition to the on-site and on-line dimensions

    Robust and standardised presentation (html5, webGL3, DX12/13, JAVA, …) and transfer techniques (http/ftp/sftp/lan and others) for porting content accessibly to the user, designed for specific device hardware types (mobile/desktop etc.)

    To take in consideration: a) tools&technologies to create AV/RA and/or b) tech&tools to experience AR/VR. Software: Unity 3D for landscape modeling, etc. Hardware: AR/VR glasses (HTC, Samsung, Google…)

For each topic, a Skype call will be organized and held, where each representing stakeholder will present a top 3 of best practices and/or state of the art examples. During the meeting, these examples will be analyzed and discussed by the WG members. What are pro’s or cons to use the specific methods/tools/products?

The outcome of this work will include a vast list of best practices and state of the art examples of  design, user experience, tools, user interaction and technologies used in CH VR/AR. It will include an analysis of said practices and examples too.

Members WG1:

CHAIR: Dick van Dijck, Waag Society, Amsterdam, Niederland, CH Representative

Davide Spallazo, Polytechnical University of Milan, Design Expert

Margaretha Mazura, Forum for e-Excellence, Brussels, Belgium, CH Technology Expert

Els de Rooij, Alfavision, VR Implementation Expert

Florian Niebling, Human-Computer-Interaction, University of Würzburg, Germany, Developer of Multimodal Approach to Historical Image Repository

Pavlos Chatzigrigoriou, HERMES (HERitage Management E System), Athene, Hermoupolis, Greece, Researcher and Developer

Ghislaine Boddington, VM in Advanced Art Practices, London, Great Britain

Tadej Vindiš, Virtual Media Researcher, Goldsmith, London, Great Britain

Petja Janžekovič, Philosopher and Storytelling Developer, KIBLA SI

Aleksandra Kostič, Art Historian, Curator, KIBLA, Slovenia

Snežana Štabi, Independent Virtual Media Researcher, Slovenia

Updated by Aleksandra Kostič