COMPARING INNOVATIVE XR SYSTEMS IN CULTURAL HERITAGE. A CASE STUDY
Keywords: User Study, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Education, Interaction, Manipulability
Abstract. The technological advances made in the recent years in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have led to a revolution in many adjacent areas. One of these is Cultural Heritage (CH), as the new array of XR technologies (a concept integrating Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality) is offering new interaction possibilities. The purpose of this paper is to compare several such technologies at application level, and to classify them based on common features such as Interaction, Manipulability, Ease of Use and others. The study presented in this paper was carried out during the H2020 project eHERITAGE (‘Expanding the Research and Innovation Capacity in Cultural Heritage Virtual Reality Applications’). The action had as output multiple XR systems/applications. We compare 4 of them: a smartphone-based AR application, a digital book with 3D elements deployed on a large touchscreen, a large holographic display and a bow simulator built using a VR headset and a mechatronic system. We evaluate these innovative systems in the context of the 2 educational events, when over 4000 participants interacted with our team. Results show that systems with greater interaction and immersion features were preferred over the others. Furthermore, Mixed Reality was preferred over Virtual and Augmented Reality.