GIFT is an ongoing EU-funded research project developing hybrid visitor experiences: mixed reality designs that complement, challenge, or overlay physical visits with digital content. Through design exploration of two concepts focusing on gifting and play, the project has developed a design framework and toolbox aimed at helping museums create deeper and more meaningful experiences by giving visitors the tools to tell their own stories. This framework is now being made freely available as an “open beta” for museum professionals and other users. The project is highly cross-disciplinary, combining human-computer interaction research, artist-led exploration, technology explorations, and experience design in collaboration with museums. Furthermore, the project gathers 10 prominent museums from Europe and the U.S. in an action research project that both serves to ground the framework in the needs of museums while also facilitating the museum partners’ need to become “digital-ready,” understanding and capitalising on digital technology.
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