Electronic Textiles as Tangible Interface for Virtual Reality. By Tyagi Shreeya (Previous DF Thesis)
Shreeya’s thesis developed a set of the e-textile interface to be an unconventional controller for a 3D visual asset that is composed of a real-world physical haptic interface rendered within virtual reality. She created an identical 3D, virtual, model of the physical table. The textile objects on the table were computationally augmented with soft e-textile sensors that allowed for change and deformation. The sensors capture participant data as they explore the tangibility of the electronic textile interface.
Because current virtual reality spaces suffer from a lack of diversity in tactile and haptic interactions. Physical interactions in these spaces are mainly through handheld plastic controllers, which feature buttons and force feedback cues. Her thesis attempts to establish a connection between the user and the virtual space through haptic interference by the addition of soft touch based interfaces that act as controllers to virtual objects (3D visual assets) in virtual reality.
Her e-textile interfaces have been created by two methods, embedding sensors in textiles and creating sensors from conductive and resistive textile materials and fabrics. She used RTD (Research Through Design) methodology by researching, conceptualizing, creating, and testing in an iterative manner. Her thesis explored the Framework of Tangible User Interfaces and theories of Active Touch and Haptic Visual overlap.
Shreeya’s thesis aims to address better interfaces in Human-Computer Interaction that can be further applied to design within virtual reality. By creating devices that easily transmit and share data, she thinks that human is teaching computers how to process and retain information about oneself. Virtual reality will soon exist as a parallel and alternate reality where people will spend large amounts of time in a digital created and curated environment. These environments will be efficient spaces to work, shop, entertainment, and coordinate with other people and we will access them through our existing physical environment.
Artificial Nature: Inhabitat. By Haru Ji and Graham Wakefield
Inhabitat was one of the research projects and an evolving series of art installations. Inhabitat offers a poetic, interactive experience of a mixed reality landscape with a virtual ecosystem that is populated by artificial organisms whose rules can be rewritten while participants interact within them. The artists have built in a feature to directly engage other audiences, by making their creatures vulnerable to extinction by the shadows that people cast when walking through the installation. This project has two perspectives, one is the HMD wearer who has the perspectives of the organism living in the artificial ecosystem, another one is participants who have the godlike perspectives.
Because this project synthesizes new “artificial natures”: installations integrating software models drawn from systems biology, artificial intelligence, and other biologically inspired sciences, with immersive virtual- and mixed-reality environments in physical space, such that humans take upon new roles within adaptive ecosystems. The artificial ecosystem presents a computational world with its own physics and biology, within which visitors interact to become essential participants within the system. An ultimate goal is to bring the generative capacity of computation into an experiential level reminiscent of, yet different to, the open-endedness of the natural world; to evoke extended aesthetic experiences that recapitulate something akin to the child-like wonder regarding the complexity, beauty, and sublimity of nature.
This research focuses on the creation of worlds from within VR, addressing three complementary axes: 1) a symbolic-algorithmic axis of rewriting the code of a world while immersed within it, as a new direction of live coding, 2) an embodied axis, augmenting hand and body gestures-in-motion with dynamics-driven simulation to create far richer and more complex forms that nevertheless retain the gestural nuances of the creator, and 3) collaborative methods to co-author worlds as a social process, in real-time. It will result in rigorously researched interaction models, transferable technologies, and unique training in emerging digital media.
To develop a deeper understanding of emergence and creativity as a form of art, study and play, by taking inspiration from nature’s creativity but recognizing the potential of natural creation beyond the known and the physical, pioneering heightened levels of human-machine interaction and intensified aesthetic experience through meaningful engagement using the whole body.
Shooting Game. By E-GO
Shooting Game simultaneously demonstrates two parallel worlds by blurring the boundary between virtual reality and real life, which renders the work a profound sense of immersions. A participator was led onto a platform surrounded by projections on all four sides. He then started a light-hearted shooting game, where the shooter was applauded by the system every time he shot a paperman target. Meanwhile, on the other side of the screens, the lifeless targets were transformed into realistic images of children. Audience standing on the outer circle were able to hear their screams and saw them dropping dead onto the ground. Yet the shooter remained oblivious to this, until at the end of the VR game when the screen finally showed a name list of the children he shot dead, actually the true victims shot dead in wars, and playback the whole shooting process.
By creating interactive systems that demystify digital technology for creators and performers, the artists are attempting to overcome the solipsism of single-user experiences, producing a more intuitive mode of engagement that will fundamentally define the technologies of the future. The project is designed to challenge the theatrical mind, allowing users to create narratives and gestures mush as they would in real-world space, but with an added layer of limitless virtual possibilities.
The artists are using the method of exploring the untapped potential of MIXED REALITY technology as a real-world tool for immersive storytelling and audience engagement. This project uses VR as the main computer media to investigate the different perspectives of narrative structure.
Shooting Game intends to trigger reflections upon subjectiveness and objectiveness through clashes between virtual and real worlds. It is questioning the diversity of life forms. One’s standard is different from another perspective or under another circumstance and even could be judged as totally inappropriate or even immoral. Shooting game also provided VR as a valuable tool to simulate and study violent behaviors.