After identifying 27 unique ideas that looked at blending digital and physical spaces at Jupiter Art Land, the student teams identified three opportunities. These three projects were organized with the Blended Spaces Framework, e.g. Generic Space, Physical Space, and Digital Space. Students and faculty are working together to formalize the fourth space or the Blended Space. The projects are, the Storytelling Tree, Loos and In Memory.
Students and faculty from Farmingdale State College and Edinburgh Napier University walked the grounds of Jupiter Art Land. The goal was to explore what kinds of blended interactions could be possible moving between digital and physical spaces at a sculpture park.
For example, students proposed augmenting the sculptures of Apolo to learn more about heavens, while, the user’s physical position around the large sculpture could tell different digital Greek stories. Another example included putting an arm around the weeping stone children as if consoling the frozen stone child. The digital interaction could be automated monetary donation to a child hunger charity.
Students explore Jupiter Artland in Mind Craft after visiting the physical environment. The above image shows students in a Jupiter Artland classroom, while digitally navigating the virtual environment. The students posed themselves in Mind Craft for a class photo.
After having a lecture with Professor David Benyon, at the Centre for Interaction Design at Edinburgh Napier University, Farmingdale and Napier students put their learnings to use and identified commercial examples of Blended Spaces. Blended Spaces in which digital content and physical environments merge. The students identified commercial experiences below and noted whether the blend was “seamless” or “broken” from the users’ point of view. Here are a few examples of their findings.
In late May 2014, Gaurav Chandwani, successfully defending his MS IST Capstone at GCCIS Rochester Institute of Technology. Gaurav was a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) working under two grants, NYSCA’s Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project and RIT’s Brick City Tours. Not only did Gaurav play a major role in developing front end interfaces, but he also help mentor newer GRAs as they joined the Blended Interactions Studio. Gaurav’s capstone is a combination of Information Sciences (e.g. front end iOS programming) and Human Computer Interaction (e.g. evaluation/usability testing). The summation of his MS capstone is a great example of Mobile User Experience Design.
Collaborative system to share pictures among groups for souvenir generation
Collaborative photo sharing while visiting designations can be problematic for the visitors. Sometimes the best photo is on another person’s device. This MS IST/HCI capstone developed, designed and evaluated a mobile application prototype to explore location-based photo sharing for souvenir generation at heritage designations. Using user centered design methods, the application and its content catered to visitors on the Rochester Institute of Technology’s campus. Application modules were developed to easily sync group photo collections together while friends were on a tour together. After the tour was complete, digital photo souvenirs were created to represent the group visit. Evaluations concluded that although automatic photo sharing was very positive utilitarian approach to group photo-sharing, the aesthetics of the souvenir prototype needed more iteration to represent the destination rather the group’s activities alone.
On Wednesday May 7th, RIT MS HCI and Allendale Columbia School students and faculty ran our mobile pilot test at Genesee Country Village Museum. As pilot tests go, we ran into a few bugs. In particular, we run into bugs at geo-fences (a geo fence is a GPS coordinate with a mathematical virtual radius drawn around a latitude and longitude). When the physical visitor collides with this digital artifact, we deliver contextually relevant digital content to the visitor.
We were not sure why our video content wasn’t playing correctly at the geo-located schoolhouse. We took the opportunity to use the 19th century schoolhouse as a schoolhouse. The Allendale Columbia students sat with their 19th century tablets (hand held chalk boards) while RIT faculty began to explain the notion of the Geo-Fences and why we may be running into problems. After about fifteen minutes we came up with a number of reasons why our video content wasn’t playing with our hand-held chalk boards. Some potential bugs could be related to:
- 4G video streaming issues
- distance from 4G towers
- AS servers may have been slower
- GPS coordinate was off 15-20 feet
- problems with the iOS code
- Geo-Fence was too small, etc
- Video mp4 format could be corrupted,
After collecting these possibilities we brought them to our development team at RIT the next day. Out of all the potential problems it was “problems with the iOS code”. The development teams fixed the bugs to have a successful usability test on May 14th with school students from Syracuse, NY.
Schoolchildren Designing Mobile Visitor Experiences at Heritage Destinations is a collaborative mobile user experience design project between Allendale Columbia School, Genesee Country Village & Museum and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The goal of this project is to give schoolchildren the oppertunity to be designers of mobile technologies instead of consumers of mobile technologies.
RIT students and faculty from the Human Computer Interaction Program and Collage of Imaging, Arts and Sciences Department are teaching basic Interaction Design and multimedia asset production principles to fifth and eighth grade students. Allendale Columbia School is leading learning objectives and outcomes, while Genesee Country Village and Museum provides ninetieth century curation education. The format of the project is in four distinct collaborative workshop stages:
- Collaboration – Ideation Phase, Heritage Storytelling, Design Strategy
- Design – User Center Design, Geo/Location-Based Interaction Design
- Multimedia Production – Asset Creation, Video, Audio, Photo, Scripting/Creative Writing
- Evaluation – Mobile Usability Testing, Public Schoolchildren Feedback
The mobile user experiences designed by the schoolchildren of Allendale Columbia School, will be evaluated by other schoolchildren participating in annual field trip events to Genesee Country Village and Museum in late spring 2014.
This project leverages the mobile technologies designed and developed under a 2013 New York Council on the Arts Grant, Mobile Experiences for Tourism Project.