Online Kiosk

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Online Kiosk

Online Kiosk

Self-guided tour systems have been used in museums and art galleries for long. With the systems, the visitor can receive detail information of the exhibits. Traditionally, a handheld device with voice instructions is carried by the user. The user follows the guidance and listens to the information of the exhibits. However, the user cannot freely choose any object he or she is interested in. This is not able to meet the need of the visitors. Moreover, these voice instructions are pre-recorded and updates are needed for all handheld devices if the exhibition is changed. Handheld devices with wireless communication capability have become very popular in recent years (Hagen, 2005, pp. 293-301).

Online Kiosk and mobile phones can be easily acquired with a reasonable cost. Self-guided tour systems with such wireless handheld devices allow instant downloading of exhibition information from the server. Hence maintenance of exhibition information is made easy under such client-server architecture. Furthermore, interaction between the visitors and the system becomes possible with the wireless connection. Feedbacks from the visitors can be collected simultaneously when they are still around a certain exhibit. Such feedbacks are important for the officials and organizers of the exhibition to know how the visitors think about the exhibition (His, 2005, pp. 60-65).

To provide exhibition information to the user through these wireless handheld devices, identification of the exhibit is needed first. One solution is to use positioning technologies, like GPS for outdoors and wireless LAN for indoors, for location-aware services. However, the positioning accuracy is always a concern and the cost is high. The other way for such information service is to use the Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology. A passive RFID tag is posted near a certain exhibit. A handheld device attached with an RFID reader is used to read the unique ID number of the exhibit; the multimedia information regarding to the object is then downloaded from the server. In this research, the RFID technology is chosen due to its ease-of-use and accuracy (Lin, 2007, pp. 1457-1462).

A blog is a type of website that shares information from events to personal feelings and thoughts in reversechronological order. Microblogging is a type of personal blog that emphasizes more on capturing a moment in time. It allows the user to post a message with less-than 140 characters via text message, email, or instant messaging tools. With microblogging, people can broadcast and share their current status, activities, and remarks instantly. We would like to utilize the power of microblogging in the self-guided system to help publicize the exhibition (Park, 2007, pp. 89-94).

This research designed an integrated framework for a mobile self-guided system named as Online Kiosk. A Online Kiosk attached with an RFID reader is used as the handheld device in this system. It can download exhibition information (from both the official and other visitors) via the wireless network when the RFID reader detects an RFID tag. The user can leave any message to the official server and use the "mail to blog" function ...
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