Senior Class at WSU Vancouver Delivers Flawless Senior Class Presentation to RealWear and Historic Trust Clients

NOTE: This is a multi-part blog series written by WSU student and RealWear guest post blog contributor Henry Brooks.

The Creative Media & Digital Culture (CMDC) program of Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV) is proud to work with RealWear and The Historic Trust to develop a senior class project.

The project takes advantage of RealWear hands-free technology with a class mission to learn teamwork, prepare for future digital careers and preserve national history.

You can view Part I on the RealWear blog here.
You can view Part II on the RealWear blog here.

Now iTour - WSU Senior Class Project with RealWear
Now iTour Augmented Reality App for Virtual Historic Tour

Overview

In our previous discussions of Now iTour, we covered topics such as our project mission and general updates. Now, the seniors of the CMDC program have finalized the project.

For our last entry in the Now iTour blog updates, we will cover the final version of the project as a whole. Though the framework of our project has remained unchanged, there are various project updates that highlight the progress we have made.

Moving forward, some areas of the project that have been updated the most include our website, maps, and tour content.

Lastly, we will conclude our project updates after discussing our final presentation to RealWear and the Historic Trust. As our final project as students of the CMDC program, we are proud with the outcome of our hard work.


Now iTour homepage.

Website

You can now visit our finished website here. Many updates have been made to the website since our previous post. The two latest additions to the website involve our interactive map and team credits page.

The interactive map page of the Now iTour website features CSS animations to enhance the user’s experience and interaction with our web based tour content. As the user hovers over specific tour-related locations on the map, the icons begin to move. By animating the reevant locations, the user is able to immediately recognize the most important tour content. Additionally, for better usability, the interactive map also features a map key.

As one of the more extensive updates, the Now iTour website now features a team credits page. Here, all CMDC program seniors and faculty members responsible for the development of Now iTour are credited for their work. Visitors also have the option of accessing the portfolios of individual team members.

Maps

Now iTour features maps unique to the tour and location here in Vancouver, WA. The tour itself takes place near downtown Vancouver across Historic Trust property. As we developed tour content throughout the semester, it was important to us to ensure the many elements of historic Vancouver sites were implemented in the map.

With our interactive map, the user is able to explore tour content through an off-site experience. Though the on-site tour offers a much more involved experience, the interactive map grants users the ability to learn more about what our tour has to offer.

While the interactive map showcases a greater depth to the layout and architecture of the tour’s location, we have also developed a map for the HMT-1. In the interest of a user-friendly experience, the map we have developed for the HMT-1 uses a significantly different design to that of the interactive map.

For the Now iTour map to be used on the HMT-1, simplistic yet effective design choices were made to prevent user confusion. As user experience has remained a top priority throughout the development of Now iTour, it was necessary to create a map that could be effectively used on the HMT-1 hands-free wearable computer tablet.

One of the more noticeable differences between the interactive and headset maps is the orientation. While the interactive map features a much more “horizontal” layout, our map for the headset is at an angle. The map for the HMT-1 is “true north,” hence the tilted orientation. As the RealWear HMT-1 has built-in GPS technology, the headset map for Now iTour uses directional accuracy to achieve the best possible results for location tracking.

Another difference between the maps is the use of color. While the interactive map features a vast array of details (including more colors), the map for the HMT-1 is simplified for user experience. Through multiple rounds of usability testing on location, it was determined that the best possible design for the HMT-1 map would be as simple as possible. With locations clearly marked and stark contrasts in color to highlight important information, the headset map provides easy viewing for the user.

App

The Now iTour app is designed for the HMT-1 wearable computer. As the user receives the unit on-site, they are introduced to the HMT-1 in addition to tutorials that explain headset operations. To teach the user proper headset use, CMDC program seniors Taylor Jones and Troy Scott demo the HMT-1 in our tutorial video. Users who participate in Now iTour will also receive flashcards of voice commands on-site to assist them if necessary.


Preview of visual prompts for tour content (HMT-1).

Utilizing the voice command capabilities of the HMT-1, users have the option of accessing tour content through various voice prompts. The use of RealWear’s hands-free technology allows for a greater level of interactivity throughout the tour. As the user explores historic Vancouver sites, they possess the ability to access relevant information through the HMT-1 unit.

Preview of historical Now iTour content on RealWear HMT-1

Should the user choose to learn more about Vancouver’s history through Now iTour on the RealWear HMT-1, additional information and narrated tour content will be presented to them. While users also have a manual tour option, by visiting the historic sites featured in Now iTour, users will experience an enhanced level of interactivity through the HMT-1 should they choose to prioritize prompted content. With that said, the manual tour option has been developed for users in case they prefer a more traditional tour experience.

Subtitles for narrated tour content (narration voiced by CMDC program senior Troy Scott)

Overall, the in-person experience offered by Now iTour promotes interactivity through RealWear’s HMT-1. As we were first introduced to the HMT-1, the voice command capabilities were of great interest during development. Additionally, the ability to play audio also captured our attention. Due to the extent of the HMT-1’s functionality, the development of Now iTour saw many of our project goals remain unobstructed.

Fortunately, the app development process for Now iTour was fairly straightforward. While the HMT-1 proved itself to be an impressive work of technology, the product offered our coders a surprisingly uncomplicated experience. With the vast skill set of CMDC program seniors Andrew Pham, Katelyn Lindsey, and CMDC graduate Connor Goglin, the Now iTour app has smoothly reached finalization.

Presentation

As we have reached the end of the fall semester, as CMDC program seniors, we have also reached the end of our college careers. In presenting our project’s conclusion to RealWear and the Historic Trust, it is rewarding to see our hard work and progress pay off. As our final project as students of the CMDC program, it is by far the most important and the most satisfying to complete.

Through consistent hard work and dedication to the project, Now iTour looks to be everything we sought to create. As an interactive tour of historic Vancouver, WA, Now iTour will bring a new and innovative experience to the local area. For Vancouver’s unique histories, RealWear, the Historic Trust and the CMDC program are bringing Vancouver’s past to life with the use of cutting edge technology and creative design.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the CMDC program has delivered what we aimed to achieve. Through thorough communication, usability testing, trial and error and various adjustments, Now iTour has taken shape in the way we wanted. As graduating seniors, there is an immense sense of accomplishment and pride throughout the entire class. With our graduation dates soon approaching, we are all incredibly thankful to have taken part in such an enjoyable and interesting project.

We look forward to what the future holds.

For more information about the CMDC program, visit www.dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc.

UPDATE: You can watch the local KGW news story on Now iTour here.

UPDATE: Photos from the Final Presentation to RealWear and Historic Trust (Client)

If you would like to follow the CMDC program, we are present on social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cmdc.dtc/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cmdc.dtc/





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