Booksnake Demo by Sean Fraga
Booksnake is a new software tool that makes it feel like digitized cultural heritage materials are physically present in the real world, using augmented reality (AR) technology in consumer smartphones and tablets. Unlike humanities projects that use virtual reality (VR) or AR to publish custom content, Booksnake is a general-purpose, content-agnostic tool for existing online collections. Booksnake works by using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to download images and metadata, then using Apple’s RealityKit framework to create custom life-size virtual objects on demand. This makes it possible for users to interact with digitized materials in physical space, enabling closer, richer engagement without risk to rare, fragile materials.
This demonstration will be led by Sean Fraga, a historian an digital humanities practitioner, with a focus on innovative scholarly applications of immersive technologies, augmented reality, and 3D modeling. In addition to serving as the project director for Booksnake, he is an assistant professor (teaching) of environmental studies and history at the University of Southern California. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A., both in history, from Princeton University, where he worked as a post-graduate research associate with Princeton’s Center for Digital Humanities, and a B.A. in American Studies, with distinction, from Yale University.