Augmented Reality in the Museum: Creating and Evaluating an AR Mobile Application in an Exhibition
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to map the process of making an AR application using 3D models for a museum, and study visitors’ experience of the application and investigate if the application generates a more meaningful experience compared to not using the application. The mix of digital production and empirical study of the created technology is a new way of investigating digital cultural heritage. The research questions include: How can a mobile application using augmented reality be created for a museum? In what way can the application be an example of a polysemic digital knowledgescape? Does the application generate a more meaningful experience of the exhibition?The augmented reality application was made using different software; the 3D models were made using photogrammetry and the application was made in the program Unity 3D. The application has a three-step information experience: an AR camera mode, object view with a rotate function of the 3D model and a short text, and lastly a link to the object’s webpage on the museum online database. The experiences of the visitors were investigated by using two focus group interviews where the first group used the application and the second group didn’t use the application. The material thus consists of the application itself and the recorded and transcribed focus group interviews. The study showed that the application was engaging to use and generates a more meaningful learning experience to visitors, especially because of the gamification elements in the application. It is also shown that a fluid experience when using technologies are important for a meaningful experience; if the technology doesn’t work well visitors will not use the technology at all. The results also revealed that without the museum building and the exhibition the application wouldn’t be meaningful to visitors.
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