Using mobile phones to assist the research work in digital museums.
Since the inception of human civilization, art has been used as a medium for communication. From intricate designs in the walls of cave by Harappa Civilization to the memes, doodles and cartoons, art has been used to convey inner thoughts. In fact, throughout history, art has emerged and re-emerged, thus challenging the many loopholes integrated into the political landscape. Many artists have been recognised and awarded to revolutionize the world through art.
As art has grown over the years, one of the major challenges that the museums are facing currently is to archive the ancient art, for public reference. That’s why many museums have moved from traditional archiving methods to digitising the museums, for the feasible display of art. Also with the digital display, retrieving the art documents for educational and research purpose has become easier.
To magnify the benefits for the digital display of art, researchers are concentrating on the mobilization of digital archive using mobile computing and cloud computing technologies for the benefit of mobile users.
A research paper titled, “Mobilizing Digital Museums with 3D photography”, published in the International Journal of Computing and Digital Systems, and authored by Yao- Nan Lien, explores this possibility.
There are many limitations while using a mobile phone for the digital display of art. The mobile phone does not have the hardware and software capabilities that are offered by a laptop or PC to store a digital file. Due to its small screen, the experience of viewing an art form becomes bland. As it has limited communication bandwidth, many web pages are unable to get displayed using a cellphone. And when the traffic on the art websites increases, the server capacity and network bandwidth are not scaled up enough to overcome the constraint and provide degraded service quality.
That’s why; two artifacts are used for developing two prototype graphical exhibition systems. These prototype graphical systems include 3D photography.
The first prototype was integrated into the Qingming Painting of National Palace Museum, for connecting each digital object using hyperlinks. These hyperlinks act as an index of knowledge exploration served by a back-end knowledge database. If any researcher wants to study this painting, they can easily explore the digitized painting for locating the desired object and retrieve its meta-data from the back-end database.
Another prototype is integrated into the Mao Ging Ding Inscription of NPM, Taiwan. A graphical exhibition system is developed by using the images of this inscription. Each character in the inscription has an embedded hyperlink linked to its meta-data, which includes not only the relevant explanation, but also the evolution of the character in calligraphy history. A user can study the inscription by clicking on any character to gain access to this information.
Game-Based Edutainment Systems
The scientists have created guessing game using edutainment, on the two paintings mentioned above, to stimulate users and enhance their learning efficiency. Edutainment, which means learning by education, has many outstanding qualities. This includes sophisticated and inexpensive human-machine-interaction, multi-media presentations, and mobile computing capabilities. The paper states that smartphones and tablet PCs are good platforms to implement edutainment systems for lively, vivid and joyful presentation of museum artifacts.
The researchers were successful in the creation of a guessing game, though the paper cites that there is a room of improvement for integrating this game in the current web systems.
3D Digital Archiving
The researchers created a Drunken eye-3D view to overcome the challenges of the resolution, storing and editing associated with traditional digital 2D photography. This dynamic pattern background attracts user’s eyes into a “drunk” state having his/her brain “see” double vision of the picture. This skill can also be used to train the user eyes to directly view a stereogram without any dynamic pattern.
Moreover, 3D digital archiving extends the capability of conventional digital archiving in many ways. The 3D stereogram of an artifact is much more realistic than its 2D counterpart and thus it may enhance the recognizability of the object. Moreover, the 3D stereogram of an artifact is much more realistic than its 2D counterpart and thus it may enhance the recognizability of the object as a consequence.
By integrating the cloud computing facility with 3-D digital archiving, the users can also retrieve the art documents whenever possible. Thus the 3D digital model serves multiple purposes while implemented in the traditional digital museums or photography.
The paper concludes that with the mobile computing environment, and by creating prototypes and game-based edutainment systems, the aim to mobilize the digital museum has a positive outlook. It will improve the customer experience and will be a reliable source for education and research purpose.