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Path-o-Logic

Amanda Syarfuan
Joshua K. Berry

An interactive physical map that provide patrons with custom chosen routes in museums. Visitors navigate their own route and choose different paths to see what they want and to save time.

Classes Interactivity for All,Networked Objects

Path-o-Logic is an interactive map that will identify and remember patrons throughout the duration of a museum visit. The main purpose of this map is to prevent people from getting lost while navigating a unique path of works that the patron wishes to see.

Background
Many museums have attempted to improve the visitor experience with technology, and several attempts have been made to help patrons easily navigate their own path, from pamphlets to GPS systems and screen based hand held audio guides. In many cases these systems have left patrons confused. RFID technology itself is not new to museum technology, as it has been widely used for tracking exhibits and works for easy archiving. However our approach is unique, and we believe it has a good chance to catch on in a variety of museum and exhibition settings.

Audience
Museum visitors. Most suitable for large areas such as museums or exhibition spaces.

User Scenario
Visitors will be given maps equipped with RFID tags that they can use with any Path-o-Logic screen they see around the museum. After placing the map on a touchscreen, the system will identify the visitor and give him/her information about their current location and options: to seek direction to a specific location/work, and to provide various categories of works available to choose from. If they choose a category, it will suggest a path for the user to take from the location of the kiosk. In addition, as each area/room is equipped with a Path-o-Logic screen, whenever a visitor suddenly feels lost, he/she can replace the map on any Path-o-Logic touchscreen nearby, and the system will recall the previously suggested path or present the option to change direction or path. To meet universal needs, all directions given are also accompanied by audio instructions for visitors with visual impairments.

Implementation
Path-o-Logic's software is a Processing application system with a touch-screen interface that is also embedded with an RFID reader. The system will be custom tailored for implementation at the 2008 Spring Show. Ideally there will be more than one screen/kiosk, with one by the column by the elevators at the main entrance to ITP, and another near the entrance to the lounge. Each is networked to each other, and they connect through a local server.

Conclusion
We are learning a lot about local networks and the use of RFID.