Founded By: European Union – FP7-ICT-2011-9

Start date: 1 Jan. 2013          End date: 31 Dec. 2015

Grant: € 4.364.255

Partners: AALTO University, Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova), Technische Universitaet Graz Aalborg Universitet, Helsingin Yliopisto, Comune di Padova, Ubiest Spa

HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Anna Spagnolli, Valeria Orso

CultAR was meant to create a novel and engaging cultural experience by leveraging on advanced virtual and augmented realities. In particular, the project pursued two specific objectives, including (i) increasing users’ awareness of the cultural landmarks in their surroundings, and (ii) increasing users’ social engagement with culture. The integration of mobile 3D, augmented realities and tactile technologies allowed to create a completely new multimodal mobile interface. The CultAR system enables the user to explore the physical world with an interactive tactile glove that would guide them to point towards a relevant Point Of Interest (POI) by using gentle vibrations delivered on the fingertips.

The user can then access additional information by either playing and audio description or by exploring the Virtual and Augmented Reality related contents. Several tests conducted in the field combining qualitative and quantitative data collection tools proved that this innovative system is well-received by users and allows them to walk around the city and explore it without the traditional mediation of printed or digital guides, providing them with a personalized experience.


Jylha A., Hsieh Y.-T., Orso V., Andolina S., Gamberini L., Jacucci G. (2015). A wearable multimodal interface for exploring urban points of interest. In Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction – ICMI 2015 (pp. 175-182). New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc [10.1145/2818346.2820763]

Orso, V., Varotto, A., Rodaro, S., Spagnolli, A., Jacucci, G., Andolina, S., … & Gamberini, L. (2017, September). A two-step, user-centered approach to personalized tourist recommendations. In Proceedings of the 12th Biannual Conference on Italian SIGCHI Chapter (pp. 1-5).

Gamberini, L., Freuli, F., Nedves, M., Jensen, W., Morrison, A., Orso, V., … & Spagnolli, A. (2018). Contextual Consistency as an Improvement to User Experience and System Transparency: The Case of a Vibrotactile Relaxation Device with Implicit Triggers. In Symbiotic Interaction: 6th International Workshop, Symbiotic 2017, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, December 18–19, 2017, Revised Selected Papers 6 (pp. 42-52). Springer International Publishing.

Cabral, D., Orso, V., El-khouri, Y., Belio, M., Gamberini, L., & Jacucci, G. (2014, October). The role of location-based event browsers in collaborative behaviors: an explorative study. In Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational (pp. 951-954).

Hsieh, Y. T., Jylhä, A., Orso, V., Gamberini, L., & Jacucci, G. (2016, May). Designing a willing-to-use-in-public hand gestural interaction technique for smart glasses. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 4203-4215).

Jacucci, G., Andolina, S., Kalkhofen, D., Schmalstieg, D., Nurminen, A., Spagnolli, A., … & Ruotsalo, T. (2018). Combining intelligent recommendation and mixed reality in itineraries for urban exploration. International SERIES on Information Systems and Management in Creative eMedia (CreMedia), (2017/2), 18-23.

Orso, V., Ruotsalo, T., Leino, J., Gamberini, L., & Jacucci, G. (2017). Overlaying social information: The effects on users’ search and information-selection behavior. Information Processing & Management, 53(6), 1269-1286.

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