'Learning through making'
is how I design for emerging technologies.
"Learning through making" has always been the principle I followed as a designer, researcher and prototyper. Especially when working with emerging technologies that most users are not familiar with, using a working prototype to gather feedback is more effective than so many primary researches and interviews. And a lot of unexpectedly interesting ideas actually came out of the making process. The following are some of those quick/dirty prototypes I've made. They're not perfect, not even complete, but they're intriguing.
Physicality of AR
Does augmentation have a physical existence in reality? What if a physical space could seamlessly respond and adapt to the augmentations residing in it? This set of prototypes is the initial investigation of my grad thesis. More about my thesis will be posted shortly.
Living with a volumetric captured being
Volumetric capture is an emerging technology that is fast developing. Soon enough, permitted by 5G, this capture could be realtime live streamed. But are we ready to live together with these virtual beings around us in the same physical space? What's the interface to interact with these beings? Here I'm proposing using the physical sofa as a meeting point of human beings and virtual beings.
Access/Create AR remotely in VR simulation
3D volumetric data of our reality is more and more accessible. Technologies like Google Earth 3D is able to reconstruct the reality and teleport people to anywhere they want to be on the earth. This technology has allowed us to imagine the alternative entry points towards AR, that is the 3D virtual simulation of the reality. People can consume/deploy AR remotely in a replicated reality through VR. That is to say, you could catch a Pokemon in New York while you're home in China.
Dance With Myself
In the virtual world, it won't be too crazy to have a duplicate of yourself. In this demo, the user can dance with himself from the past. The mechanism is quite simple. At first, when user dancing in the VR, his motion is recorded. Then, this recorded motion will be applied on to a rigged human model. It's really inspiring to think to collaborate, compete or play with yourself.
A Universal Handle
This might be the cheapest controller in the world. When turning the two rings, the different combinations of the pattern will trigger different AR tools in your hand. With a simple square sticker, you can turn on/off the flashlight in your hand, which is technically a virtual AR button.
Navigate through different AR layers
In the near future, one physical location will have multiple layers of AR contents overlaying upon each other. How could users navigate from one layer to another? This prototype demonstrates using AR objects as portals to different layers.
Play 'Together' in MR
The headset has always separated the user with other people. Simply by giving one tracker to a person without a headset, this person is also part of the game. Two sides have a totally different experience, virtual and reality. But they are still in one world.