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Public engagement with biomedical research through location-sensitive technology

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Springer, London


Augmented reality was used as an innovative way to engage the general public with biomedical and healthcare research information. Six research institutes in Melbourne's Parkville precinct were augmented with web-based information, and volunteers tested the usability of both this content and the augmented reality browser. Participants' feedback concerning the usefulness of the biomedical and healthcare information was very positive
over 75% of participants described the application favourably. Participants expressed a range of preferences regarding the types of information presented and its structure. Several participants felt they had learned something new from the application, and commented positively on the locative and mobile context of the technology. A challenge for science communicators is to provide user-friendly, accessible technologies that provide information of a suitable complexity and allow users to access that information according to their personal preferences. User feedback indicated that the application described in this study generally met these requirements, and shows that smart phone based AR has potential for use in science communication and public engagement with science.


Naylor, Ryan; Elliott, Kristine; Gray, Kathleen; Wadley, Greg (2011): Public engagement with biomedical research through location-sensitive technology. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies - C&T '11. DOI: 10.1145/2103354.2103379. Springer, London. pp. 186-193. Full Papers. The Edge, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 29 June – 2 July 2011