Working with physical objects is an essential part of a wide range of research processes such as in archeology, medicine, architecture, and design. These research processes with physical objects are especially challenging in two regards: (1) for providing direct access to physical objects for globally distributed teams and (2) for keeping track of all participants current perspectives on the object and their evolving knowledge base regarding an object’s knowledge.
In this project, we aim to develop tools for scientific collaborations at the interface between the physical and digital world. These tools should integrate ubiquitously into a working environment that allows participants immediate access to the research object interacting with the physical object and the digital representation seamlessly. Annotations are the mediator of the physical and the digital worlds and establish a basis for the evolving object-centered knowledge base. The envisioned working environment supports the cognitive processes of actors independently of their location by purposefully visualizing annotations and recommending possible relations within the externalized knowledge base.