Project coordinator, main technical developments.

Through the E-Museum project (funded in the framework of the GSRT PAVET-NE research and development action), we are providing a core of reusable components capable of supporting advanced museum (and exhibition) services, not only to visitors in the museum, but also to virtual visitors who access collections through the web. The proposed architecture provides automatic and on demand audiovisual content retrieval, both on-site and through the Web, to different classes of users.
On-site services are provided through Java-enabled devices, which exploit the user's contextual state, mainly defined as visitor location and organization of exhibits. The main distinguishing characteristic of the proposed architecture is that it separates the positioning system from the content access mechanisms, while being generic to the selection of the localization technology and the terminal device characteristics. Furthermore, it is built as an open, modular platform comprising a core of reusable components and interfaces for supporting different types of services and devices, including widespread Java and Bluetooth enabled smart phones, while being able to reuse already existing content structures.
E-Museum supports a wide range of services targeted to the needs of different user requirements. The most important of them are the following:

  1. Automatic (push) content retrieval based on visitor proximity to an exhibit or group of exhibits: The handheld device that the user carries identifies his location in relation with a certain exhibit or group of exhibits, through a suitable positioning technology. After location identification, a request for audiovisual content related with a certain exhibit (or group of exhibits) is created automatically.
  2. On demand (pull) content retrieval: This service is enabled via the E-Museum wireless communication infrastructure and it addresses more experienced users. Context aware information, related with the user's position, is used to help him to browse the E-Museum's collections and/or to create more targeted search queries.
  3. Directional information (e.g. vector maps), indicating the user's current location in the museum and how he can move throughout the museum, can be offered to the user terminal after request. The next desirable point of interest can also be specified. In this occasion, a graphic interface showing the most efficient route to that spot is displayed instantaneously. In addition, a traffic assistant can show the snapshot of the current traffic flow in the museum. This feature enables the visitor to avoid big crowd in his tour.
  4. Creation of live linear guidance: User provides his profile and preferences (e.g. concerning a certain historical period that wants to examine) and the system automatically creates linear guidance including only the exhibits of interest and excluding exhibits that are not of interest to the user. Guidance and location information is also provided in this service.
  5. Registration of path and content of interest for offline usage: Users with handheld devices may be able to get only a small subset of the content while on-site, due to limitations in the processing power of their devices. However, the path with exhibits of interest is registered and presentations with full versions of content are created for offline usage (e.g. stored in CDs that the user buys after the visit to the museum).
Date started: 
November, 2011