The goal of this project is to examine novel ways in which large situated displays can be used in cultural heritage sites for the benefit of visitors. Museums and cultural heritage sites today are augmented with technologies aimed to enhance the visitor’s experience. Handheld devices are often used as a personalized device, which provide visitors with context-aware multimedia information. However, they also isolate the visitors from the environment and their peers. Socialization has been shown to be a key factor in the museum experience as many visitors often come to museums in small groups, mainly with family and friends. Handheld devices being limited by their screen size and the amount of information they can provide are not suited to support a small group of people. Large displays, on the other hand, provide a contextually situated surface that can provide both extra screen space, and a shared group display for collaborative activity. Many museums already employ large displays, mostly as information kiosks or bulletin boards. However, museums and existing research have not yet examined the use of large displays in the museum in the context of a museum mobile guide. The proposed work will fill this gap by examining ways in which a small group of people would collaboratively view information on both personal and public displays. The objective is to design and implement museum technologies that would support small groups of visitors. Technology developed will be deployed and evaluated with actual visitors in the Hecht museum, located at the University of Haifa campus.
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