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22 DigiCULT
ture, history, arts and sciences do not really benefit
from simply accessing online collections. For exam-
ple, there is no real benefit in gazing at images online,
just as there is little acquisition of cultural knowledge
when reading some descriptive information (meta-
data) attached to images. However, there are millions
of Euros being spent on digitising heritage resources,
with little likelihood of an educational, social or eco-
nomic return on investment because the next step
towards creating engaging cultural experiences with
these resources is not being considered.
However, we have entered the age of the `expe-
rience economy'
and the heritage sector may
rank considerably below the current level of what
the various service industries (including media and
entertainment) have achieved so far and are head-
ing for.
Consumers today take service for grant-
ed. What they are seeking are unique, meaningful
and memorable experiences. This is not an argument
for turning cultural heritage services into entertain-
ment but a warning that services that do not invite,
inspire, engage or immerse will not find a wider use.
Consequently, the RTD agenda for the heritage sec-
tor should strongly concentrate on applications that
enhance experiences and novel ways of impart-
ing knowledge. It should focus on fostering cultural
learning at all levels, from school children to lifelong
The next waves of ICT systems and applications
should pave the way towards a digital heritage space,
Jospeh Pine and James
H. Gilmore, The Experience
Economy (Boston: Harvard
Business School, 1999);
Bernd H. Schmitt, Customer
Experience Management
(New York: The Free Press,
2001); for an earlier work
on this topic from the
perspective of cultural soci-
ology, see Gerhard Schulze,
Die Erlebnisgesellschaft.
Kultursoziologie der
Gegenwart, (Frankfurt
a.M./New York:
Campus, 1992).
See, for example, the
suggestions of Flavio Tariffi:
"Intelligent Heritage:
The industry perspective"
(28-01-2004). http://www.
htm. See also the trends
discussed at the TiLE 2004
conference. TiLE is a major
forum for leisure venues
and visitor attractions
that entertain, educate
and inform. This includes
museums, science centres,
planetariums, aquariums,
natural heritage sites,
and culturally themed
urban environments (e.g.
historic city centres).
Relevant on-site applica-
tions, for example, include
audiovisual technologies,
multimedia, animatronics,
simulation, virtual real-
ity. http://www.andrich.
Experience prototyping
As described by the IST Advisory Group in their
report Ambient Intelligence: From Vision to Reali
ty (September 2003), `experience prototyping' will
be key to turn the vision into a reality. The ISTAG
suggests that RTD increasingly needs `to allow
people to live in their own future' in order to bring
the research closer to the needs of citizens and
businesses. `Requirements engineering for Ambient
Intelligent systems design can no longer be seen as
a task that can be accomplished through the deve-
lopment of scenarios and the translation of use
cases into system requirements. System functiona-
lities that generate true user experiences can only
be determined in a reliable way from feasible pro-
totypes providing proofs of concept. New appro-
aches to prototyping are likely to be key to the
successful development of AmI products and ser-
vices.' Experience prototyping places the emphasis
on the quality of the users' interactions and expe-
riences. It should enable design teams, users and
clients to gain first-hand appreciation of existing
or future conditions through active engagement
with prototypes. This extends well beyond the kind
of scenarios, use cases, requirements engineering
for software design and usability studies that are in
practical use today.
This was seconded by many participants in the
DigiCULT online consultation forum. To give but
two examples: Addressing issues of knowledge pro-
vision, Martin Doerr (Head of the Centre for Cul
tural Informatics, ICS/FORTH) wrote: `Computer
science tends to rehearse trivial reasoning exam-
ples (such as white elephants, non-flying birds, stu-
dent-professor scenarios); e.g. whole conferences
on Digital Libraries are held without any signi-
ficant participation of librarians or user groups. I
expect from a stronger involvement in applicatio-
ns a strong increase in pure and applied research
challenges. Only bioinformatics has so far reached
such a status.' Another participant, Anne Gilliland-
Swetland (Department of Information Studies,
UCLA) stated with respect to `intelligent herita-
ge': `The gap is more in the research and develop-
ment than in the technology. Information retrieval
has not focused on the particular challenges offered
by cultural, other language, and historical materials
and practitioners have not been sufficiently resour-
ced or trained to participate in such R&D. (...)
Incentives have to be given to support the deve-
lopment of testbeds from which generalisable data,
benchmarks, and outcomes can be generated.'
ISTAG reports:
Ambient Intelligence: from vision to reality
(September 2003), S.27-29.;
Experience and application research. Involving Users in
the Development of Ambient Intelligence (Final Report,
v1, 22 June 2004).
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