Augmented Reality and Cultural Heritage at Mobile 2.0 Europe

Day one of Mobile 2.0 Europe – openIDEAS Conference will be dedicated to analyze the present and future of innovation in Mobile technologies.

Professors Gladys Chacartegui and Luis Villarejo, IT Project Managers, Community Initiatives at the Office of Learning Technologies (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, will talk to the audience about their Augmented Reality and Cultural Heritage studies.

Augmented Reality and Cultural Heritage studies, a pilot project at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

The Office of Learning Technologies (LT) and the Laboratori del Nou Turisme (LNT) have started a new project based on the implementation of AR tools to help interpreting landscape. The purpose of this project is to make students able to provide landscape units with several types of contents. This objective will be achieved through the structuring of landscape data, which will enable the creation of data layers for AR browsers. These browsers will provide on-site landscape information through the mobile. The type of information that can be incorporated into the layers of data can be text, audio, video or web content. The main teaching objective is to introduce students to the possibilities of using augmented reality technologies applied to mobile telephony. The students of the Cultural Heritage subject will carry out a project through teamwork and a collaborative environment. This project is based on the creation of a landscape interpretation product for potential visitors who lack information on the landscape they are seeing. Students will design a project where landscape interpretation elements will be incorporated in an accurate way. These elements will allow describing the landscape beyond the simple visual contemplation. It will be possible to “read it” from a touristic point of view and provide additional information linked to the destination where visitors are.

IUOC: Enhanced Mobile Learning at the UOC is an initiative of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) that aims to take the UOC’s virtual campus, My UOC, to new, more current, interactive and portable scenarios, such as the iPad. In order to address students needs, the UOC, in collaboration with mobile phone operator Orange, developed a native application for the iPad from a user-centred perspective, guaranteeing a minimum learning curve for the application as it is intuitive and easy to use for both students and lecturers. Moreover, the learning application has been integrated into a pilot programme in which iPads with 3G connections are provided to 45 students and a number of lecturers for accessing, via the native application, the virtual campus and the UOC’s educational materials (adapted for the iPad) for a semester.

Students participating in iUOC have the ability to check their mail, diary, educational materials, classrooms and other students’ opinion literally in their hands. They, therefore, enjoy a high degree of accessibility and total autonomy in managing their time. This study will assess the importance of accessibility and autonomy with respect to an increase in learning productivity and efficiency. Giving students the option of deciding when and where to study inherently entails a reduction in transport costs, as students do not have to invest any money or time in travelling. In fact, one of the objectives of the iUOC project was to research how students can devote their time to learning while commuting, among other situations, the results of this research being applied to the design of the iUOC adaptations for the iPad and the portable Web.


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