This paper reports the findings of a study to determine if using Mobile AR (augmented reality) to render an exhibit’s supplemental information increased the level of learning and enjoyment of visitors to a living museum, specifically the Pocock Trail located within the Bergen Swamp, which is classified as a “Living Museum”. A museum is identified as “Living” when it “is a natural, wild area that is relatively undisturbed by man. It is an area where the native plant and animal life are maintaining themselves in a natural, biological manner” (BSPS, 2016). When an area is undisturbed by man it is not possible to add traditional text-based exhibit descriptions on plaques or posters. AR adds digital content to the real world that visitors can interact with in the same manner that they interact with the physical world. It is used to evoke emotion, to tell a story, or to document an event (Craig, 2013). AR was used to augment the real world of the Bergen Swamp to add supplemental information that was viewed on a mobile device. The goal of this study was to determine whether the use of AR technology would enhance a visitor experience to this living museum compared to a traditional guided tour by a docent. Visitors were first provided a docent to guide them through the Pocock trail, and then the same visitors were provided an app to download which used an AR browser to guide them through the same trail.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Museum techniques--Technological innovations; Augmented reality; Open-air museums

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Human-Computer Interaction (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)


Vicki Hanson

Advisor/Committee Member

Bryan French

Advisor/Committee Member

Deb LaBelle


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at AM151 .L63 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes