Evaluating user's experience through a holographic display

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20 March. 2020

Evaluating user's experience through a holographic display

In February 2020, all members of RISE CoE were called to participate in a study evaluating user's experience through a holographic display organized with the cooperation of several research groups of the centre as well as Dr Daniela De Angeli, Research Associate of the Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA), Department of Computer Science, University of Bath.
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Given the opportunity, we interviewed Dr De Angeli in regards to her work as well as her collaboration with RISE CoE.

What study path did you take to get into life science?
During my bachelor’s degree in Arts management I took web programming as an optional course. I thought it would be interesting to try it. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to do a master’s degree in Technologies for Communication, followed by another master’s in Media Arts and Computer Science. I have even decided to do a Doctorate in Digital Entertainment.
What made you interested in this sector specifically?
My passion for digital technologies did not weaken through the years, but grew. I worked for about one year at a communication company. From this experience I did not just gain professional experience, I also realized I did not want to use digital media simply for marketing or entertainment. I wanted to educate the general public. During my postdoc I also began exploring the potential of games that could benefit society. In particular, I developed two games for social reflection which were installed in a temporary exhibition at the Ruhr Museum in Germany. The games were the first official attempt to adapt Agonistic theory to game studies.

In the last year I have been planning a mixed reality experience for Cyprus with Casondra Sobieralski, a Doctoral student from the University of California Santa Cruz. This interactive installation will face two challenges. First, it will attempt to virtually repatriate archaeological artefacts found in Cyprus that are currently in museums around the world. The plan is to create 3D replicas of these artefacts and then share them with the public via an interactive holographic display  that seeks to illuminate the agency of artifacts as characters in a story. This introduces the second challenge, which is how will members of the public interact with the holograms. While holographic displays are increasingly popular in museums all around the world, they are often not interactive or offer only basic interaction such as turning the hologram 360 degrees.

What question or challenge were you setting out to address when the study for Evaluating users’ experience with a holographic display was initiated?
The  study for Evaluating users’ experience with a holographic display was set up together with the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) and RISE to test natural modalities of interaction with holograms of museum artefacts. We are currently analyzing the data collected but we hope this study will inform the design of the interactive holographic display, so that the final installation will be not only engaging but also usable and intuitive for the general public.

How did the cooperation with RISE Centre of Excellence start? Are there any plans for future cooperation?
The collaboration with RISE started a couple of years ago because of common interests with the Museum Lab. Since then, the collaboration has grown to involve other research groups in RISE as well as CUT. We will continue to work together in the development of the holographic display. The installation is planned for beginning of 2022 and will be placed in a museum in Cyprus. The venue is still to be confirmed but we are discussing the option with interested institutions both in Larnaca and Nicosia. In the pipeline for 2020-2021, I have plans for a game-making event at the Ledra Palace hotel in the United Nations Buffer Zone in collaboration with the Museum Lab at RISE.
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