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Testing new AR Magic Lantern prototype in a history museum

Master's students at Pompeu Fabra continue usability research at MUHBA

This May, graduate students from Universitat Pompeu Fabra conducted research on the use of augmented reality in cultural heritage spaces. They are using the new prototype of the AR Magic Lantern (ARML), which is being developed by the UPF node of the EMIL group as their Lighthouse Project. Each student is testing a different facet of usability:

  • Klara Wichmann is studying strategies for guiding the user through the exhibit, comparing a compass-like display to an animated guide dog agent.
  • Anna Logetskaia is comparing usability factors of the AR Magic Lantern to those on the Meta Quest 3.
  • Melanie Chen is studying the usability of different interaction modes on the ARML: tactile (button), dwell, and voice commands.

Their research is part of a Master’s program at UPF called Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media (CSIM), and is supervised by Narcis Pares in the Full-body Interaction Lab. CSIM students use a wide range of XR technologies to study cognition and behaviour. In this case, they are using a projective AR device to study the impact of XR in a museum setting. Their work is a continuation of research performed by the lab since 2017, thanks in no small part to a fruitful collaboration with MUHBA: The Museum of the History of Barcelona. The first prototype of the ARML was developed for and tested in Refugi 307, a citizen-made air-raid bunker, while the current research is conducted in Barcino, an ancient Roman city whose remains are still standing beneath the streets of modern Barcelona.

The Lab intends to incorporate the findings of their research into the design of a rich AR experience for visitors to the site of Barcino. 

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