Thesis title: USEUM: Making Art more Accessible with Crowdsourcing and Augmented Reality
Primary supervisor: Professor Andrew Hudson-Smith
Secondary supervisor: Dr Melissa Terras
Starting date: October, 2011
Projected completion date: October, 2016
Crowdsourcing refers to the process during which a task is outsourced to the crowd, whilst augmented reality is the technology that superimposes computer-generated imagery on a user’s view of the real world, so that it appears to the user that virtual and real objects co-exist in space. Despite the wealth of literature and practice around both of these phenomena, there are only a limited number of research projects involving both of them. USEUM is one of these projects, utilising crowdsourcing and augmented reality in an attempt to make art more accessible, not only on the digital domain, but also in the physical space by taking advantage of mobile augmented reality. USEUM as a platform (http://useum.org) is defined as The World's Museum of Art, featuring thousands of artworks by hundreds of artists from worldwide.
Foteini, 26, is the Founder of USEUM and a PhD Candidate at UCL. USEUM is the first ever Crowdsourced Museum of Art and started off from Foteini’s part-time PhD studies at UCL, the title of which is “Making Art more Accessible with Crowdsourcing and Augmented Reality”. USEUM has received £110,000 as seed-funding and in 2012 it was the 1st prize winner of the Athens Startup Weekend competition hosted by the Microsoft Innovation Center. Foteini’s background is a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Piraeus and a 2-year MFA in Interactive Digital Media at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication (part of City University), which she attended on scholarship and earned with A+. Her MFA thesis is an Augmented Reality iPad game she developed in collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London called "Shakespeare's Hunt". During her Masters studies Foteini worked as Lead Developer of mobile applications for the Museum of BMW. Foteini has been invited to discuss her research and work at multiple conferences and as an undergraduate was a Microsoft Student Partner involved in various projects and events.