Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project Presentation

The Western New York Chapter of HFES is glad to invite you to attend a special meeting on May 5th entitled Mobile Experiences for Tourism.  This is a project directed by Brian O’Keefe Ph.D. and conducted with his graduate assistants under a grant from the New York Council on the Arts.

Broadly speaking, digital tourism is concerned with the use of digital technologies to enhance the visitor experience. This may be as mundane as posting recommendations on a tourist Website, but increasingly, it concerns the mixing of the real world with digital content designed to enhance the visitor experience. These mixed reality technologies have been around for over 10 years, but it is only with the proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices that mixed and augmented reality interaction is reaching the mass market. This presentation showcases the cross section of mixed reality and  visitor experience design by:

  1. designing at a level of physical place rather than product,
  2. showcasing how an interaction design method (Blended Theory) informed the design process and strategy,
  3. demonstrating mobile user interface that guide visitors rather than direct them,
  4. presenting our production process of augmented reality characters,
  5. presenting our technologies of geo-locating augmentations and,
  6. evaluating the impact of our design decisions with a series of usability tests with schoolchildren.

Brian O’Keefe Ph.D. is a Assistant Professor in the Interaction Design Program at SUNY Farmingdale State College. Brian is a interaction design researcher and visual artist with a focus on implementing and evaluating user experiences within mixed reality spaces. Brian is also the Founder and User Experience Director of the Blended Interactions Studio, which represents a group of researchers funded by New York State Council on the Arts, RIT and VisitRochester. The studio specializes in mobile technologies as pervasive/ubiquitous solutions to curate heritage destinations with the aid of school children and educational storytelling. Brian’s industrial skills have been utilized by Verizon Wireless, Walmart, Fujifilm and Eastman Kodak Company, winning awards and patents in digital photography and geo-location services. Brian’s Post Doctorate was held at the Centre for Interaction Design at Edinburgh Napier University where he designed conversational interfaces for the internet via photography, machine learning and natural language processing systems. Brian completed his Ph.D. from the University of Florence, Italy in the sciences of Human Computer Interaction and holds a BFA in Interactive and Graphic Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, USA.

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