Western New York Chapter of Human Factors Ergonomics Society 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 RIT graduate assistants under a grant from the New York Council on the Arts.  You will learn how user research was done and see the resulting user interface design in this highly visual presentation.

The meeting will be held at the Center for Student Innovation which is Building CSI 087 on the RIT campus.  You can park in Lot J and walk past the Engineering Technology Hall and the Golisano Building.  The Innovation Center is behind the Golisano Building.  It is a circular building completely enclosed in glass so it will stand out from the other buildings.

Mobile Experiences for Tourism

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. In this presentation I will introduce Blended Spaces as an extension of mixed reality spaces, but at the level of physical place rather than product. I will introduce the Blended Spaces framework and showcase how it informed the design process and strategy of a New York Council on the Arts grant called Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project. I will present our mobile interaction and user interface design strategy around heritage storytelling and its impact on various visitor experience scenarios. I will discuss our findings and feedback from a series of evaluations. Finally, I will conclude the talk by introducing our work-in-progress project, School Children Designing Visitor Experiences. Our work-in-progress extends the research and technologies developed under a series of grants by putting mobile design decisions and evaluations in the hands of fifth grade students.

Brian O’Keefe Ph.D. is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the MS Human-Computer Interaction program at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. 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 (www.blendedinteractions.com). Brian’s industrial skills have been utilized by Eastman Kodak Company’s consumer electronics and advanced technologies generation teams, winning both awards and patents in digital photography. 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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