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Development and production of augmented and virtual reality applications for the narrative tour of the Tomato Industrial Museum “D.Nomikos”

The Tomato Industrial Museum, D. Nomikos, is entering a new tour season. In collaboration with the University of Patras – departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Technology and Architectural Engineering – the development and production of augmented and virtual reality applications for the narrative tour of the museum begins.

The DeAR Museum (Development and implementation of AR – VR productions for the Museum) is an innovation proposal at both a theoretical and an applied level. It expands current scientific, research and applied knowledge in the field of design and development of mixed, augmented and virtual reality digital applications that are restored and enhanced in the context of museum use. The object of the project is the development of narrative museum scenarios using innovative applications of augmented and virtual reality and its goal is the experiential personalized experience of visiting an industrial space that has been transformed into a “museum of itself”.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the approach to daily life and work in the old factory, while at the same time, in the context of the relevant research, a method will be developed for the digital recovery of members from the historical mechanical equipment of the Factory that no longer exist. This pioneering method can also be applied to other thematic technological museums or similar applications for the rescue and promotion of the technological cultural heritage.

More specifically, the project proposes the development and production of digital applications, based on a complex, interactive and spatially evolving “narrative”, adapted to the positioning of the exhibits and the visitors’ route, during their tour of the Tomato Industrial Museum. That is:

The Augmented Reality (AR) application.
The Virtual Reality (VR) application.
The sonic footprint of machines and factory environment to create a soundscape.
The digital recovery of damaged elements of historical mechanical equipment.
The customized apps for the personalized narrated tour.
The adapted applications for the narrative guided tour of people with limited vision and limited mobility.

The applications will start from the demonstrative operation of the surviving historical mechanical equipment of the old factory and the digital representation of the movement of the machines, after the deficiencies of the equipment have been digitally filled. In order to achieve the above, a digital capture-scan of the mechanical equipment will be made in order to create 3D models of the machines. In addition, machine components that no longer exist as physical objects will be digitally designed. Along with the above, there will be a simulation of the movement, of the machines, with the use of moving images (animation). And filming the space with a 360 camera, according to the route of the script.

This project is expected to have a positive impact on society, science and the economy. In terms of society, the project is going to:

It strengthens the supply of cultural services and goods.
Create and develop new innovative products and services that will enhance the experience of the end user, in addition to others and people with special needs (PWD), in terms of augmented user experiences.
Upgrade the infrastructure to promote the cultural stock of the country.
Finally, to highlight and promote the relationship between Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries through the rescue, completion and promotion of the material and immaterial cultural stock and its utilization as a means of developing special forms of tourism.

In terms of science and economics, the project expects to produce significant research in the broader field of computer science. Recent developments in the field of Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality, Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence are going to support in the near future, the creation of innovative services and applications in areas of Ubiquitous Computing. Within this context, businesses in the Hellenic Territory, such as the Tomato Industrial Museum, need to adopt innovative design methodologies in order to provide enhanced user experiences that will lead to the development of a revolutionary new generation of cultural heritage management applications.

The results of the project will be able to be exploited economically and commercially, both by the company implementing the proposal itself, and by similar companies, such as museums, institutions, collections. In this way, the competitiveness and development of businesses is strengthened by the integration of new knowledge that will be acquired.

The points of utilization of the results of the project are as follows:

The methodology that will be developed, for the digital completion of the damaged