MusIM: Mobile Object Browsing for Museums
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MusIM: Mobile Object Browsing for Museums

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With the growth of mobile devices and associated techonologies, creativity is the only limitation to ...

With the growth of mobile devices and associated techonologies, creativity is the only limitation to
develop interesting applications. Mobille Tagging is also a concept that’s already implemented in Japan and
would certainly succeed all over the world, as already happens throughout European countries like
Switzerland or Germany. In such context, MusIM is a mobile application meant to be used in museums,
allowing users to browse through information regarding displayed objects. In order to achieve that, the visitor
photographs an identification symbol (datamatrix code) associated to an object. Immediatly after the image
decoding process, the information is shown on the mobile device.

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    MusIM: Mobile Object Browsing for Museums MusIM: Mobile Object Browsing for Museums Document Transcript

    • MusIM: Mobile Object Browsing for Museums José André Coelho Teixeira Marta Lopes Figueiredo Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra coelho@student.dei.uc.pt, martal@student.dei.uc.pt Abstract: With the growth of mobile devices and associated techonologies, creativity is the only limitation to develop interesting applications. Mobille Tagging is also a concept that’s already implemented in Japan and would certainly succeed all over the world, as already happens throughout European countries like Switzerland or Germany. In such context, MusIM is a mobile application meant to be used in museums, allowing users to browse through information regarding displayed objects. In order to achieve that, the visitor photographs an identification symbol (datamatrix code) associated to an object. Immediatly after the image decoding process, the information is shown on the mobile device. Keywords: Ubiquitous Systems, Mobile Tagging, Mobile Devices, DataMatrix Barcode Introduction Developing this application required a wide initial analysis on the identification symbols When visiting museums, exhibitions or similar available. Therefore, this paper relies on the events, having detailed information about a study of different code types and related existing specific item can become very useful at some works. After that, the application architecture point. MusIM was developed to fulfill such and functionality will be presented. Finally, need, allowing users to obtain information in a conclusions and some future work ideas will be very simple way, just by taking a picture of a shared. symbol associated to an item. Information regarding that item comprises author name, Barcodes style, date of creation and other details. There is also the possibility of browsing through items In a general way, these symbols are images that belonging to the same author or that share the combine black and white color, creating high same style. Author and style details are available and low reflections that allow the conversion of as well. To complement these features, visitors the information into binary code (0s and 1s). can vote or comment an item being also This information can be encoded in several possible to retrieve its location on the museum shapes such as vertical lines, points or squares floor plan. Using votes and comments left by for example. These codes are usually decoded visitors and the number of requests per item, with laser or optical scanners, allowing easy and statistical information can be created and quick object identification. become available to the exhibition organizers.
    • There are three barcode types: numeric, two perpendicular lines of ones. These can be alphanumeric and two dimensional. As the name found on the left and bottom margins and are points, numeric codes only use numbers in their used to align the code so that it's not necessary character set, while alphanumeric can use both to read the code from any particular angle. letters and numbers. Both numeric and There are also the syncs, two lines positioned alphanumeric codes encode their information in at the most right and top margins which are vertical lines. On the other hand, a 2D barcode made of alternated black and white cells. Syncs provides a lot more flexibility, encoding more are used to correctly sample the cells. If the information on smaller physical space. These matrix dimension grows, more finder patterns and symbols also use highly qualified error syncs are added up to 8 both vertically and correction algorithms, so that even partially horizontally. Besides all, datamatrix codes use damaged symbols can be correctly decoded. error correction algorithms such as Reed-Solomon while encoding data, allowing the encoded Barcodes have been present in our lives for information to be correctly extracted from up to a long time, but now, a new era has arrived, an 60% of partially damaged codes. era where these are not just used to label All these characteristics combined product prices. Barcodes are now used as small together make this code significantly fault databases, containing all the information that tolerant during the decoding process. This was needs to travel with the objects. the main reason why datamatrix was chosen for this project. Datamatrix Mobile Tagging A Datamatrix is a two dimensional barcode Mobile Tagging is such a recent concept, that its consisting of an even vertical and horizontal definition is not yet clear. The idea behind such number of black and white cells, arranged in a concept relies over the connection between the square or rectangular pattern. Each of those physical/real world to the digital world through cells represent a bit, white for 0 and black for 1, the use of special symbols. and all together encode either raw or text data. Fig. 2 – QR-Code Fig. 1 - Datamatrix codes These are just simple barcodes (typically 2D), being QR-Code the most used one. Its practical application is only limited by human creativity. These codes can store up to 2 kilobytes and Japan has been the pioneer country on the use depending on how much information is stored, of these symbols, and one can see its application the symbol dimension may vary from 8×8 to at the least expected places. Places like train 144×144. In order to achieve a good alignment stations, outdoors, bus stops, sculptures or and to correctly sample the cells, there are some others contain associated symbols spread all special characteristics needed such as finder over. Its use can also be found on web sites or patterns, also known as handles, which consist of magazines. The concept behind consists mainly
    • on getting detailed information over something. For example, just by taking a picture at a certain outdoor, one can add to its mobile device "favorites" the address of the website of the promoted product. The same happens to sculptures or other public objects, so that tourists can obtain more information, the same as with MusIM. In magazines or newspapers it is also used to complement publicity. One curious application for these symbols was found in a case where a car had a stick with a barcode containing an encoded URL to the well known auction website eBay, where it was Fig.4 – Client main menu and object info screens for sale. Regarding the server, there are several Application distinct services running such as a database server, and a HTTP server, which also serves The system is divided in two sub-projects, the web services. To complete, there is also a server server and the client side. In order for these to application that besides decoding the image sent communicate, they need both to be connected by the client application, allows the to the same network, using mainly Web Services administrators to manage the database contents, to exchange data. print labels and access formatted statistical data. Conclusions While testing the system several challenges appeared, specially related to the camera capture module. Accessing the camera in devices equipped with Windows Mobile 2003 is challenging due to the fact that such task varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, being necessary to recode the camera capture module for different devices. Despite this not being a Fig. 3 – System Architecture problem in Windows Mobile 2005 devices, a limitation related to the camera was also found, The client application, after taking a picture especially particularly regarding the device's of a datamatrix code sends it to the server so camera quality. If the quality is not good that it can be decoded, in order to obtain the enough, the image captured may not be object id. After receiving the corresponding id, correctly decoded, mainly due to factors such as the client application is redirected to a URL lighting or distance to the picture. In good light containing the information. From this moment, and distance conditions, no shadows and at the client can also comment, vote or get the approximately 30cm (1 feet), the system works location of the object. All these actions are correctly. recorded in the main server database. Once the system is designed to work inside museums, lighting problems should not be an issue. Besides, the number of devices with
    • integrated camera and its quality are increasing. 5. http://mobile.kaywa.com/qr-code- For these reasons, MusIM can be considered a data-matrix really good choice, not only for visitors, who can access more information about what they 6. http://mobilecodes.nokia.com/ are seeing, but also for the exhibition administrators, that receive more feedback from 7. http://www.technoriversoft.com/barco visitors, non existing otherwise. de.html Future work Although the system is usable, there is always space for improvement, especially in what matters to the statistics functionality. Using extra information stored in the database, a lot of new reports could be generated in order to support administrators to better manage the exhibition. For instance, that information can be used to see which areas are more visited at certain period of the day or even how much time is spent in each object or room. As the system is now implemented it needs constant connection to a server. However, it would be interesting to be able to do all the tasks without such constant connection, allowing the system to be used in wider areas, as zoos, natural parks, or others, being the data synchronized periodically when a connection is available. Adapting this system to Symbian OS capable devices should also be interesting. References 1. https://developer.berlios.de/projects/d atamatrixdec 2. http://mobile.kaywa.com/qr-code- data-matrix 3. http://tmenguy.free.fr/TechBlog/?p=1 39 4. http://www.barcodemobile.com/