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Virtual Guidance using Mixed Reality in Historical Places and Museums

Hammady, Ramy (2019) Virtual Guidance using Mixed Reality in Historical Places and Museums. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Mixed Reality (MR) is one of the most disruptive technologies that shows potential in many application domains, particularly in the tourism and cultural heritage sector. MR using the latest headsets with the highest capabilities introduces a new visual platform that can change people’s visual experience.
This thesis introduces a HoloLens-based mixed reality guidance system for museums and historical places. This new guidance form considers the inclusiveness of the necessary and optimised functionalities, visual and audio guiding abilities, essential roles of a guide, and the related social interactions in the real-time.
A mixed reality guide, dubbed ‘MuseumEye’ was designed and developed for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, to overcome challenges currently facing the museum, e.g. lack of guiding methods, limited information signposted on the exhibits, lack of visitor engagement resulting in less time spent in the museum compared to other museums with similar capacity and significance. These problems motivated the researcher to conduct an exploratory study to investigate the museum environment and guiding methods by interviewing 10 participants and observing 20 visitors. ‘MuseumEye’ was built based on a literature review of immersive systems in museums and the findings of an exploratory study that reveals visitor behaviours and the nature of guidance in the museum.
This project increased levels of engagement and the length of time visitors spend in museums, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo in particular, using the mixed reality technology that provides visitors with additional visual, audio information and computer-generated images at various levels of details and via different media. This research introduces the guidelines of designing immersive reality guide applications using the techniques of spatial mapping, designing the multimedia and UI, and designing interactions for exploratory purposes. The main contributions of this study include various theoretical contributions: 1) creating a new form of guidance that enhances the museum experience through developing a mixed reality system; 2) a theoretical framework that assesses mixed reality guidance systems in terms of perceived usefulness, ease of use, enjoyment, interactivity, the roles of a guide and the likelihood of future use; 3) the Ambient Information Visualisation Concept for increasing visitor engagement through better presenting information and enhancing communication and interaction between visitors and exhibits; and a practical contribution in creating a mixed reality guidance system that reshapes the museum space, enhances visitors’ experience and significantly increases the length of time they spend in the museum.
The evaluation comprised of quantitative surveys (171 participants and 9 experts) and qualitative observation (51 participants) using MuseumEye in their tours. The results showed positive responses for all measured aspects and compares these to similar studies. The observation results showed that visitors who use MuseumEye spent four times the duration visitors spent without guides or with human guides in front of exhibited items. The quantitative results showed significant correlations between the measured constructs (perceived usefulness, ease of use, enjoyment, multimedia and UI, interactivity) and the likelihood of future use when the roles of guide mediate the relations. Moreover, the ‘perceived guidance’ is the most influential construct on the likelihood of future use of MuseumEye. The results also revealed a high likelihood of future use, which ensures the sustainability of adopting mixed reality technology in museums.
This thesis shows the potential of mixed reality guides in the museum sector that reshape the museum space and offers endless possibilities for museums and heritage sites.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: PhD
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 15:21
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 15:21

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