Celebrating History with HMT-1s


Update on Now iTour Created by WSU Class for Senior Project

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.

Overview

In our previous post regarding Now iTour, we covered topics such as the CMDC program, the purpose of Now iTour, and the Senior Seminar as a whole.

In our second post, we will be discussing Now iTour’s current status and project updates. While our previous post focused on the background of the project, we will shift our attention toward a more in-depth discussion surrounding Now iTour’s content and development.

One critical area of the project that has reached completion is our teaser trailer which was produced by graduating seniors Taylor Jones and Zachary Losness in the Senior Seminar class.

You can watch it on YouTube:

In the Now iTour trailer, the use of RealWear’s HMT-1 headset is put on full display. In the trailer, users can be seen interacting within the tour environment with the HMT-1. With the use of such new and exciting technology the history of Vancouver, WA can be experienced through a new medium. As shown in the trailer, the HMT-1 can be seen as a device to enhance and entertain through augmented reality.


3D model of HMT-1 with hat from Now iTour trailer. (Designed by Rachel Gellinger of Senior Seminar)

Through countless hours of extensive research by our documentation team, the history of Vancouver, WA is brought to life. With RealWear’s technology, the wealth of information analyzed and arranged by our seniors allows for an experience unlike any other for Vancouver’s historic sites.

Though there are some areas of the project still in development, the updates shown in this post will highlight the progress we have made.

App


The Now iTour app for the HMT-1 utilizes the unit’s voice command capabilities.

Currently, the Now iTour app for the HMT-1 is still in development. The app for the HMT-1 will allow the user to access all of the necessary content for the tour. After acquiring the headset on-site at the O.O. Howard House, users will be introduced to a tutorial to become comfortable with operating the headset. As the focal point of the tutorial, the user will learn the voice commands that allow for a hands-free experience.

As the user explores Historic Trust properties, they will be able to track their location with GPS through an on-screen visual. With Bluetooth beacon technology, the user will be prompted to learn about specific historical sites once they enter within range.

By accessing the site-specific content, the user will experience narrated content, images, as well as historical video and music. Through an enhanced level of interactivity, it is our objective to provide the user with a sense of independence throughout the tour.

Through the hard work of our app team, the coders have surpassed their own expectations along the way. Whether through trial and error or traditional problem solving, the app team has made strides in the development of the Now iTour app. Fortunately, the app team has shown consistency and progression with their work on the project, and have found success while working with the HMT-1.

Website


Homepage preview for Now iTour website.

Though still in development, The web team has made tremendous progress with the website since our previously featured blog post. The homepage for the Now iTour website will feature an extensive overview of the project as well as other additional content separate from the on-site tour. By allowing potential visitors to gain a greater understanding of Now iTour online, they will be inclined to achieve the full experience in person.

While the homepage will introduce the user to Now iTour, other pages such as the Map, Support, and History pages will be dedicated to specific areas of the project. On the Map page, an interactive map of the tour will be made available to the user. Additionally, the History page will include information regarding the historical significance of all tour content. Lastly, the support page will aid the potential tour-goer in understanding the HMT-1 and its functionality.

As the website features easily accessible information about the tour, the web team will also include Team Credits page. As the name implies, the page will be dedicated to team members who have worked relentlessly on this project. As graduating seniors of the CMDC program, the hard work and late nights dedicated to the Senior Seminar project will be acknowledged.

Maps


Preview of Now iTour interactive map for the website.

While the interactive map is still in development, the maps team have nearly completed all deliverables related to the map. Responsible for the web, headset, and printed maps, the maps team has created all visual assets and design of the different maps. Other than a few minor adjustments, both the interactive map and headset map are complete.

On the website, the interactive map will allow the user to access CSS-animated content that directs them to historical information. In terms of interactivity, the user will be able to hover over a featured point of interest and click on the location. From there, the user will access images and written content relating to the location.


Preview of Now iTour headset map.

For the headset map, the user will track their location on-site through the HMT-1. While the headset map features a much more simplified design compared to the interactive map, this map will use road names and fewer assets to prevent distraction. In an effort to minimize confusion, the headset map prioritizes simplicity and usability to create a user-friendly experience.

Moving Forward


CMDC program seniors experiencing historic Vancouver through Historic Trust walking tour.

As the seniors continue to work on the project, the end is in sight. As the final presentation to RealWear and The Historic Trust approaches, the seniors have shown their skills, resilience, and desire to produce their best work.

Though there are still areas of the project that will need to be addressed and further developed, the seniors are currently on track to deliver the best product possible for what is desired. Since August of this year, the seniors have worked diligently, effectively, and show no signs of slowing down. As the final, major project of their college careers, the determination to create something great is strong.

On December 12, we will deliver our final presentation to RealWear and The Historic Trust. Given our current progress, we are pleased with what we have been able to accomplish thus far. With an end goal in mind, we are striving to deliver something spectacular.

The CMDC program’s final featured blog post will arrive in the coming weeks, where we will discuss the conclusion of Now iTour. For more information about the CMDC program, visit www.dtc-wsuv.org/cmdc.

If you would like to follow the CMDC program for frequent updates on Now iTour, we are present and active on social media:

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

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

Henry-Brooks-WSU-graduate-senior

Henry Brooks is a 22 year old graduating senior at Washington State University Vancouver. He is double-majoring in Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) and English

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