Citywide: Supporting Interactive Digital Experiences Across Physical Space
The Citywide project is exploring ways in which technology can provide people with rich and engaging digital experiences as they move through physical space, including historical experiences, performances and games. This paper describes some initial results and experiences with this project based upon two prototype demonstrators. In the first, we describe an application in which a search party explores an archaeological site, uncovering enacted scenes within the virtual world that are of a historical relevance to their particular physical location. In the second, we describe a museum experience where participants explore an outdoors location, hunting for buried virtual artifacts that they then bring back to a museum for a more detailed study. Our demonstrators employ a varied set of devices, including mobile wireless interfaces for locating hotspots of virtual activity when outdoors, to give different experiences of the virtual world depending upon location, task, available equipment and accuracy of tracking. We conclude by discussing some of the potential advantages of using an underlying shared virtual world to support interactive experiences across extended physical settings.
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