Scaffolding Real and Unreal: Strategies for the Development of Virtual Tour Guides


Mobile and wearable devices have become common communication media for various applications. Especially, in museums and galleries, audio and multimedia guides remain the most common solutions in which visitors can concentrate on appreciating the exhibits while gaining a deeper understanding of collections. Since the spread of Covid-19 reduced the accessibility of physical venues and limited human interaction, the need for purpose-built audio and multimedia guides has grown. However, the multimedia guides were unable to fulfil the visitors' needs. Some organisations have begun to explore alternative solutions such as Augmented Reality by reassessing current digital strategies for the coming post-pandemic era. This paper aims to clarify the current trends in the development of on-site museum technology and identify the gaps that can be closed using the aspects of Education, Interaction, Personalization, and Visualization, which have been declared previously as the four key strategies to enhance the visiting experience. Our main goal is to define which aspect is the most important factor for the development of a Virtual Tour Guide to maintain a museum’s resilience. In this paper, we conducted a survey that provides a comprehensive analysis on the development of on-site electronic devices in the top 103 most visited museums in 23 countries. Three stages of data collection are deployed to assemble information. The results show that 83% of museums surveyed are available to engage with on-site visitors through audio or multimedia guides or apps. Our findings indicate that Interaction is the most important strategy, followed by Education, Personalisation and Visualisation.

Author Information
Richard Yu-Chang Li, AIE Institute, Australia
Manolya Kavakli, AIE Institute, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Cyberspace

This paper is part of the IICAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Li R., & Kavakli M. (2023) Scaffolding Real and Unreal: Strategies for the Development of Virtual Tour Guides ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon