IP protection




Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
 The classical way to visit a museum has been superseded by some simple and useful aiding devices. The most common is the audio guide, that has become mobile in last couples of decades. With the diffusion of the pocket PCs and Smartphones many application have been replacing simple audio guides with richer virtual tourist guides. One of the drawbacks of the common systems is the scarce level of interaction; the guide doesn’t often allow to modulate and change the quantity or the detail of the information provided and usually forces the visitor to a per-determined fruition with no care to the visitor interests.

Currently some innovative experimental systems are described in literature and implemented in different contexts. Some of them are described in documents published on the web.

Keywords: interactive museum


interactive guide museum






What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
The proposed system rises up the level of user interaction, letting the user the pleasure to select the most interesting – from his/her viewpoint – things to see and allowing a simple mechanism to gather information related to that items. In addition, an intuitive and user friendly interface based on a touch screen eases the interaction with an information system able to provide an overview of the exhibition and to recognize the items selected by the user. The recognition is used to gather ancillary information from a database and provide them to the user.



What is the potential for further research?
The project is a first step, the natural evolution of the system is towards a portable platform. That migration is necessary to allow some more interactions between the user and the context around him, in other words the system will be used to improve the experience of the visitor by an augmented reality. On the scientific side, the evolution to a mobile platform involves new usability issues, from the development viewpoint, a new implementation is needed to adapt the work to the mobile environment peculiarities.




What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
The patent could be a possibility for a complete “machine” to be considered as a product. At the moment, the product will be based on some commercial off the shelf components like webcams, PCs, touch screens and wide led or plasma monitors.

The core of the system is in the user interface structure and in the algorithms used for image processing in both the phases of system usage (acquisition for database creation and recognition for content retrieval). Since the development of a complete machine as a product is not the mission of the research team, probably  the software (and the adopted usability issues contained in it) will be licensed to museum or institutions interested in implementing such a system in their exhibitions.






What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
A first view of patents with the keywords, “interactive guide” + museum + “object recognition” shows possible relevant results.




Considering the final product as an assembly of HW and SW targeted to a task similar to the ones performed by some other patented equipments, it is necessary to consider existing patent relevance case by case.

The patent costs in Italy are around 2500 € (up front) + increasing annual fees from 60€ up to 650€ in the 20 year period. The estimated cost for the PCT application in the main countries is in the range of tens of k€.




What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The scientific contributions used in the project have been tested in the lab over a significant population of users and a real case- the “Il Pordenone” ‘s collection.  The effort needed to finalize the system is mostly on technical issues. This is why it can be stated that from the scientific viewpoint the result is mature.







Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity       X  
Synergies   X      
State-of-the-art/innovation     X    
IPR-potential     X    


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