Co-helmet: a design fiction to reframe museum touring (Research proposal)


Research Proposal

Title: Co-helmet: a design fiction to reframe museum touring

Student Name: Ce Zhong

Student ID: 301314787


The design and deployment of interactive technology as part of museum exhibitions have long been a topic of study for HCI and related disciplines[1]. It is still hard for us to interact with other visitors when we are engaging with digital artifacts and exhibits in a museum. For instance, visitors always have to share their headphones when they are using FM assistive listening devices, thereby visitors have fewer opportunities to interaction with others when they are touring. In addition, people always confusion about which exhibit that they most interested in before and after they step into a museum. As a result, the design and deployment of interactive technology as part of touring equipment and museum exhibitions have long been a topic of study for HCI and related disciplines[2]. For instance, research on tangible, embedded and embodied interaction has meant a shift in approaching design, such as designing an interactive prototype to support family’s touring in the museum[4], or to creating visitor experiences that are more fully integrated into an exhibition and that extend and complement its materiality and design identity[3]. However, none of the researchers focus on the research to inquire the computing artifact that can augment the spontaneous social interaction between visitors when they are touring or off touring in the museum.



Novel interactive system, museum touring; research through design; spontaneous social interaction


Research questions:

How to augment the touring experience of visitors when they are appreciating a specific exhibit?


How the design of computing artifacts that can augment spontaneous social interaction between artifacts and visitors?


Fiction Art prototype:

In this research, I may design an interactive computing co-helmet that be provided with these functions: first, visitor can interact with some former visitors through the embedded positioning system in the helmet that can help the visitor know how long others have spent in the same position to appreciate an exhibit, this function is achieved by the tilting helmet. As a result, the visitor can decide how and what to arrangement the touring. Second, there is a LED light on the back of the helmet, the color of the light represents how long other visitors have already spent to interact with a specific exhibit. Therefore, the visitor can better interact with his/her accompanies towards the observation. In addition, museum organizers can use the big data that embedded in each helmet recorded in these bracelets to redeploy the exhibits to augment the touring experience for visitors.



  1. C. Capurro, D. Nollet, and D. Pletinckx. 2015. Tangible interfaces for digital museum applications. 2015 Digital Heritage, 271–276.
  2. Loraine Clarke and Eva Hornecker. 2015. Social activities with offline tangibles at an interactive painting exhibit in a children’s cultural center. ACM Press, 82–90.
  3. Robyn Taylor, Roy Bearpark, John Bowers, et al. 2015. Making Magic: Designing for Open Interactions in Museum Settings. ACM Press, 313–322.
  4. Ron Wakkary, Marek Hatala, Kevin Muise, et al. 2009. Kurio: a museum guide for families. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, ACM, 215–222.


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