Kinesthetic interactions in museums: conveying cultural heritage by making use of ancient tools and (re-) constructing artworks


Kinesthetic interactions allow users to interact with 3D applications through their body movements and hand gestures. When kinesthetic applications are introduced in museums and heritage institutions, they add embodiment to visitor experience. An appropriate fit for kinesthetic technology in museums rests on visitors engaging in purposeful body movements and hand gestures that convey meanings about both intangible and tangible heritage. This paper presents the design, development and evaluation of a kinesthetic application of sculpturing Cycladic figurines, which places the user at the role of an ancient craftsman who creates a figurine with bare-hand movements (translated by Leap Motion to respective sculpting actions) in a simplified virtual environment. The Cycladic sculpture application has been evaluated in laboratory and field testing (as part of a wider educational activity in the museum) with positive results on usability, fun and learning. We identify several benefits as well as challenges of designing kinesthetic interactions in museums and we report on design issues that need to be taken into account in similar applications.

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We would like to thank Nikolas Papadimitriou curator of Antiquities at the Museum of Cycladic Art for the coordination of the event ‘Marble Yesterday and Today,’ as well as Yiannis Papadatos, Nondas Verieris and all other participants for the fruitful discussions onto the value of kinesthetic interactive applications for conveying tangible and intangible heritage.

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Correspondence to Spyros Vosinakis.

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Koutsabasis, P., Vosinakis, S. Kinesthetic interactions in museums: conveying cultural heritage by making use of ancient tools and (re-) constructing artworks. Virtual Reality 22, 103–118 (2018).

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  • Cultural heritage
  • Digital heritage
  • Kinesthetic interaction
  • Cycladic figurine
  • User experience
  • Usability testing
  • Field study
  • Leap Motion