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Creative Authoring Tools for Edutainment Applications

Final Report Summary - U-CREATE (Creative Authoring Tools for Edutainment Applications)

U-CREATE was initiated by Alterface, Imagination and ion2s, three SMEs which are primarily active in the field of edutainment, i.e. the joining of education and entertainment (customers are museums, cultural institutions, entertainment parks …). They share a common and important problem: efficient content creation.

Be it interactive setups, mixed reality experiences, location-based services, all these technologies are worthless without content: content is always to be tackled or delivered at the same time as technology. However, content creation is a long process that can turn to nightmare when implementing large-scale projects.

The solution is two words: authoring tool. A powerful, graphical, beyond the state-of-the-art authoring tool is needed that allows one to create elaborated contents in a fast and easy way. No such tool exists to date due to the highly innovative products commercialised by the SMEs. Creating the prototype of such a tool was the goal of the project.

The authoring tool will increase competitiveness, because it significantly shortens production time (50 % reduction of integration time) and effort (creation process affordable to non-specialists) for content development. It will also enable other people to create contents for the intended systems: SMEs can then sell more software while subcontracting or licensing the content production. It will also strengthen the European position in an authoring market dominated by Unites States companies.

Creating the prototype version of the tool, it is another objective of the project to innovate with respect to three particular aspects:
1) on the one hand, the tool will rely on visual programming to ease the work of content creators by offering them a user-friendly and easy to learn interface;
2) on another hand, mixed reality latest aspects will be included in the tool and will allow one to make the correspondence between real physical places and virtual ones;
3) on a third hand, the latest advance in digital storytelling will be brought in order for content creators to be guided through the establishment of their stories and structuring their story in coherence with the interactive aspects.

Results achieved

1) State-of-the-art report has clarified the potential of the R&D techniques for the SMEs and the end-users.
2) End-user requirements have been set.
3) The system architecture has been set to accommodate all requirements from the three SMEs and the specifications for the prototype tool have been issued. In parallel, SMEs have defined the test environment that will be used to validate the developments.
4) The needed R&D techniques have been developed and finalised in a first version of the prototype.
5) The prototype has been integrated and iteratively improved according to the tests implemented by the SMEs.
6) Contacts have been established in order to establish a small open community with which events and interviews have been organised in order to achieve the final validation.
7) Exploitation and strategy plans, as well as use of knowledge have been refined during the project course.
8) In parallel, from a management point of view, all intended procedures have been kept and reporting (bi-monthly management and financial reporting and payments toward contractors) and other communication.

Despite some small delays and adjustments, the project has therefore been perfectly in-line with its foreseen milestones and deliverables.

The prototype has been evaluated in a very positive way by both the SMEs and the OC members who tested it: about three out of four requirements have been met and the needed knowledge has been assessed for the SMEs to be able to carry on the effort and transform this prototype into commercial applications within one to two years.

Dissemination has also been carried, with participation and presentation of the tool at several international events. The project website is

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