Reflecting on the project

At the start of this project, it was hard to figure out how to begin. The assignment was not very specific on what exactly we had to do. This meant a lot of brainstorming was required at the start of the project on how to create a new, exciting and informative experience for the visitors of the museum. We also wanted to focus on making it an authentic experience for the visitors of the temple of Taffeh. This brainstorming caused some discussions in our group. Because with four people, there are multiple views on what is most important for the project; creating a very nice idea or creating the actual prototype. These different points of view were mostly due to our different studies and the way we were taught to do things. However, these discussions made us aware of the different possibilities and we were able to reach a good compromise on how to execute this project. We also became a closer team, because we were able to tell each other when we didn’t agree with the way things were going.

At the start we also needed some sessions trying out the hololens, so we could learn the possibilities and limitations of the hololens. These sessions were fun to do, because the hololens is such a novelty and a very nice device to play with.

We learned a lot during this project, because there was so many new aspects to this prooject that we hadn’t come into contact with yet. Working in a multidisciplinary team, learned us to take into account different views. Working with the hololens was also a complete new experience, because we needed to learn to program in Unity3D, which was none of us had done before. By deviding in smaller sub-teams, we worked most efficiently, each one of us focussing on what we were best at. The Industrial Design students focussed on the idea and the brainstorming, while the Computer Science and the Mechanical Engineering students focussed on programming and creating the app. However, this does not mean that the two teams didn’t work together towards the end of the project. The last weeks we all worked on the app and the presentation of the prototype together.

After one week, we noticed there were a lot of people interested in our project. We even got interviewed by Reuters. This gave us a lot of motivation for our project, which in turn made working a lot more fun.

The main difficulty during this project was the amount of work we wanted to do  and the fact that the team was incomplete most of the time due to sickness. This meant we had to work double as hard during the time we had, to create what we had in mind. This also caused an uneven workload for the different teammembers, which caused some frustration. Fortunately, we had so much motivation to work on this project and got even more motivation after noticing that a lot of people were interested in our project. So due to good communication and a lot of hard work, we were able to create a nice prototype for this project. We are very proud of our work and the final product.

If we were to work on this project another time, or again, we should start with listening to each point of view before we start working (and continue to do so during the project), because this could have solved some frustrations during this project. Also we should take into account sickness of teammembers to devide the workload in a better way. Furthermore, we now have more knowledge about Unity, so we could further develop the next prototype in the same amount of time.

In conlcusion, this was a very fun and interesting project. We had great team members and we developed a great prototype that we can be proud of. Thank you all for your interest in this project, because this gave us a lot of motivation to work hard.

 

Science Fair – Presenting the project

Last tuesday, the Science Fair took place, where we got the opportunity to present our Temple Hololens Experience to the public for the very first time.

Excited and prepared from head to toe (and fingernails), we set up our booth with posters, business cards, a demovideo, and ofcourse the Hololens with the working app we have worked so hard to develop.

Even our nails, where in style.

Even our nails were in style, decorated with the eye of Horus.

We were looking forward to let people test the prototype and were curious to find out how they liked it. We reserved a space next to our booth where people would have enough room to try out the basic route leading up to the temple, and one additional route inside.

The team at the Science Fair, from left to right: Jouke Verlinden, Ivan Gavran, Erik Höglund, Jannelie de Vries and Annelies Maltha

The team at the Science Fair, from left to right: Jouke Verlinden, Ivan Gavran, Erik Höglund, Jannelie de Vries and Annelies Maltha

Luckily, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Even before the official start of the fair, people were already lining up to test the app using the Hololens. For some people, the handgestures proved to be quite difficult, while others got the hang of it fairly quickly. Around 80 people got to test the app, and all of them were positive about the project, even if the gestures took some getting used to/ We were told by people working at museums themselves that this could really enhance the exhibition and could be the future of visiting a museum. We got interviewed for Delta, the TU Delft Magazine, and just overall got to explain our vision to a lot of interested visitors of the Science Fair.

Our booth at the Science Fair, with Jannelie in the background showing the app to the visitors

Our booth at the Science Fair, with Jannelie in the background showing the app to the visitors

We are very happy with the results of the day, and grateful to all the people who took the time to not only listen to our story about the project, but also test the app and give us their opinions.

Usertest(trouble)

This weekend, we went to the museum once again to test our prototype with actual visitors. We planned on using the Presence Questionnaire by Witmer & Singer, revised by the UQO Cyberpsychology Lab. We also wanted to create a heatmap of where the visitors walked and stayed the longest, and compare that to the routes we had programmed in the app itself.

When we got to the museum, this proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. The new script for the heatmapping couldn’t be deployed due to errors we were not able to solve. After this setback, we regrouped and figured we could still place the app and heatmap people manually. This was also not as easy as we thought it would be. The app was programmed for a flat surface, whereas the floor leading up to the temple had a small staircase.  We tried to solve this by standing on a crutch and having the temple at eyelevel.

 

Trying to deploy the app

Trying to deploy the app

Unfortunately, this did not work as well as we wanted. Standing still, the app looked nice and was placed correctly. However, as soon as you started moving, the app shifted and the statue and the routes were placed through walls. This lead to some frustration.
Due to this setback, we decided to look at the day as a testrun.

Holograms placed through the wall

Holograms placed through the wall

We placed the app as well as we could and took some pictures using the live preview of the Hololens. We also asked some visitors to put on the Hololens and give their first impression. This proved to be difficult because they were unable to walk around without crashing the app. However, their initial reactions were positive. They liked the idea and found the information and the different routes interesting.

We also showed the pictures and the demovideo that we made so far to some of the employees at the museum. They were very enthusiastic, asking to see even more content. Hearing their feedback really cheered us up again and we left feeling pleased about the possibilities of our project.

Interview with Reuters

More exciting news this week: our interview with Reuters came out!
We are very happy with the result, as well as having the opportunity to share our project with a wider audience. Check out the interview below:

 

 

Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s – Validating Content

The project is slowly coming to an end, which means it is time to finalize the concept.
This week everything will come together, in time for the big presentation in tuesday, the 1st of November.

Last week we conducted some user tests, to validate our original concept and content.
The general idea of the app is an Interactive and Personal tour. This means the visitor will be free to explore whichever part of the temple they find most interesting, whether it be Architecture, Origin, Tradition or Relocation.
However, the way this is presented has to be clear for the visitor, seeing as adjusting to the novelty of using the Hololens can be hard enough.

We were pleased to find out that people responded positively to our new way of offering information. Instead of having one place to read one sheet of paper, they can now pick a route and discover more information as they explore the temple.

The old way of receiving information

The old way of receiving information

Isis providing the main menu of the tour.

The new way of receiving information

Another thing we made sure to double check, was the information about the temple that is incorporated in the app. We went to the museum again to meet with Professor Raven, the curator at the National Museum of Antiquities.

Our meeting with Professor Raven

Our meeting with Professor Raven

One of the main things he wanted us to know, is how hard it is to say with certainty what the interior and surroundings of the temple looked like, and what the traditions were exactly. Unfortunately, the temple was damaged over the years and the floor was not salvable anymore.

This means we have to find a compromis between creating an experience that is as authentic as possible, but also shows the possibilities of incorporating the Hololens. We feel like we are well underway with finding that compromis and have high hopes for the end of this project.

 

Progress week 7

Last week (week 7) we have been working very hard on making the actual app. We have been making holograms, figuring how to make good use of the features that the hololens offers in unity. Everything we tried we immediately tested and if it didn´t work, we went back to figure out why and to make sure we fix it. It was a trial and error process combined with a hard work and long days. We haven´t competely finished everything of course but we did cover a lot and are very well on our way to finishing the app.

Because it mainly was a lot of computer work like recording, programming, photoshopping, 3D modelling etc. we haven´t really got any interesting things to show from the process itself but of course we do have some test videos. You can see them below under some pictures of us working.

Testing some recently made holograms

Working on and testing some recently made holograms

Monotoring progress

Monotoring progress

Isis providing the main menu of the tour.

Isis providing the main menu of the tour.

This is a very raw teaser. We of course don´t wan´t to uncover everything already. This week we are going to build everything together and do a lot of testing to polish it and make it a smoothly working app. Tuesday we are going to test it at the museum and on Friday we are going to do user test with the fully working app.

Scenario sketches

So far we have not shown much content and results of the brainstormingsessions. We have decided to make an interactive tour for the visitors, where everyone gets the same basic information at the start. After completing this route, they can choose a subject they want to know more about, making it a personal exploration and more engaging than the current way of displaying information.

Depicted below is just one of the ways we can do this, by letting the goddess Isis give the options. Below is also a sketch of the scenario where the visitor follows the basic route. The first picture will be used in future user test to find out if it is in fact the best way to display the options.

isas2.367
Photoshop sketch for user test, only an example

Storyline
Scenario sketches, 3 steps to begin the tour

New Week, New Work

This week, it was time to sit down and finalize the concept.

We had some difficulties deciding which part of the project was more important to focus on,-because of the limited amount of time-  the concept or the final product.

This was mostly due to the fact that our different studies had different views on the matter. However, after having discussed this, we came up with a good compromise.
We split the group up into two teams;  team Brainstorm and team Unity, meeting every day at lunchtime to discuss our progress.

Team Brainstorm was responsible for collecting all the information relevant to the exhibit, and designing a new user experience for the visitor of the museum.

IMG_4568

One of the many brainstormsessions

The brainstorming not only meant coming up with a concept on how to display the information in a new way using the hololens, but also working out all the details (e.g. pop-ups, specific texts, interfaces etc.). So far, we are very pleased with the results. Over the course of next week we want to conduct additional user tests, with the help of visualisations.

Team Unity focused on the technical part of the experience, the programming. This meant we first had to become more familiar with the program, by following the tutorials and discovering the possibilities of Unity. We learned different ways to interact with surroundings, using gestures and different voicecommands. The tutorials gave us new insights and ideas on how to implement the newly learned features in the project.  Even though the tutorials were very hard work and took a long time to complete, the results were more than worth it and made us very enthusiastic and motivated.

Next week will be a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s concerning the brainstormsession, and then the four of us will focus solely on the realization of our concept.

Making progress

This week we´ve been busy with a lot of things : brainstorming, 3D modelling, sketching, getting affiliated with unity and more. On Monday we even had an interview with Jim Drury from Thomson Reuters,  the world’s largest international multimedia news agency.

Ivan giving a live demonstration for the interview.

Ivan giving a live demonstration for the interview.

They are very interested in our project, just as we are. We felt priviliged and were very excited to demonstrate the progress we´ve made so far and tell them everything about the project.

The rest of the week we focused on the project itself and we worked quite a lot on it but nothing really interesting to tell about right here except for the fact that we feel that we are well on our way and that we are looking forward to see ourselves and the project progress.

Today we went to the museum for the second time to test everything we´ve made this week and to make a complete 3D scan of the temple that we can use for modelling and studying purposes. This took a while but we were pleased with the result. Also the pictures, videos and 3D holograms that we implemented in the hololens turned out great. We´ve made a map of ancient Egypt, a statue of the godess Isis (the temple was built in her honour by emperor August), videos of the temple being transported to the museum back in 1960 and some more stuff. It was very satisfying to see, test and experience the things we´ve made ourselves. On top of that we´ve had a talk with a museum employee who told us a lot of interesting information about the temple that we can and will use in our project.

3D model of a statue of the godess Isis which can be seen when walking inside the temple by following the footsteps.

Live screenshot of the statue  hologram of the godess Isis which can be seen when walking inside the temple by following the footsteps.

 

Emperor August welcoming visitors and offering them the opportunity to get more information about the temple.

Emperor August welcoming visitors and offering them the opportunity to get more information about the temple.

 

Making a 3D scan of the inside of the temple using the hololens.

Making a 3D scan of the inside of the temple using the hololens.

 

3D scanning the outside of the temple.

3D scanning the outside of the temple.

 

 

 

Exploring the Taffeh temple and brainstorming

Today was our first visit to the rijksmuseum of antiquity in Leiden. The schedule was tight, so the first thing to do was to assemble the crew and head to the museum.

When we arrived at the museum we saw the Taffeh temple in all its glory. It stood in the middle of the entrance hall and it was a true eye catching structure.

The temple of Taffeh

We immediately turned on the hololens and started making pictures, trying out stuff and we tried to 3D scan the entire temple. Unfortunately the scanning didn’t work due to some technical difficulties with the network connection. However we did make lots of pictures and also some videos of us using the hololens at the museum.

The team at temple entrance. From left to right: Annelies, Jannelie, Erik and Ivan

The team at temple entrance.
From left to right: Annelies, Jannelie, Erik and Ivan

After this we sat down around a table and had a rather productive brainstorming session. We came up with lots of interesting ideas on how to make the hololens to good use in a museum in general and also how to deploy its features for our particular artifact and project to work on. We also discussed how museums are being perceived by ourselves and by the general public.

The main point we agreed on was that history museums in general are perceived as being distant and not interactable i.e. the visitor for the most part only sees and reads about possibly damaged or incomplete artifacts. The hololens, and virtual reality in general offer great opportunity to simulate the static past as a dynamic present experience to visitors. Historical characters could for instance be recreated as a hologram and serve as tour guides to show visitors the museum and really talk to them and explain historical events or even show those. Museum halls could be filled with relevant holograms and audio to recreate historical events and to make it possible for the visitor to experience them first hand and really breath in the atmosphere of past times. Or maybe audience that wish museums were more exciting: games could be made to search the museum, find certain artifacts, events or persons and the visitor could play a role in them. Furthermore almost all museums only display a fraction of their entire collection so full 3D scans or 3D models could be made of the complete collection so that visitors can access them digitally if they want to see or learn something more about certain topics they’re interested in.

Holograms providing extra information and interaction

Holograms providing extra information and interaction

We addressed these and some more notions on how the hololens could possibly add extra dimensions, enhance and add even more value to the visiting experience of a museum.