PerTe aims to devise methods and develop tools that enable older adults to experience museum visits from home. In general, we take the approach of leveraging friends or family members that can visit the museum, who act as facilitators in the remote experiencing process. The methods derive from insights obtained by studies we have conducted and range from low-intrusion ones (where family members enjoy their museum visit, and sharing of experiences is facilitated by allowing them to bring home memories of their visits that can be easily shared with older adults) to methods and tools enabling a synchronous interaction between family members and the older relative during the visit (via dedicated virtual environments).
The work fits into a research thread that aims at i) increasing participation to cultural events for people who are unable to attend them, ii) enabling persons that for various reasons are unable to attend to still enjoy events and exhibitions through the storytelling of their friends and family, and to iii) join remotely their friends and family in the visit.
We are currently designing a study where older adults are presented with a virtual museum interface and follow a group of people (e.g., family members) in the museum visit through a narrative that connects the exhibits on the path. The immersive theatrical interface and the story will be used to explore the effects on engagement, enjoyment and social and spatial co-presence of both the onsite and the remote participants.