The reason for this post was the lecture by Dr Angeliki Chrysanthi as a guest lecturer of the module Digital Humanities: Theory and Practice (AFF 601). Her lecture was one of the most interesting lectures that took place in the context of this module and, really, thank her very much for that. The title of her presentation was Analogue to Digital: Transforming Spaces and from the first time I saw it in the course program, intrigued me. Having a different background, terms such as “transformation of spaces” or “augmenting spaces” sound to me both distant and familiar at the same time. Thus, that gave me the impetus to involve with this topic and had some thoughts to this, which are presented below.
Initially, it would be worth quoting a definition of augmented or mixed reality and the importance of augmented space. According to Manovich, one of the most important figures in the field of new media theory, as augmented reality obtained “the laying of dynamic and context-specific information over the visual field of a user” and as augmented space the physical space overlaid with dynamically changing information. This information is likely to be in multimedia form and it is often localised for each user such as images, sounds, videos, graphics and GPS data. Both of them could be summarised as contributing a presence simulation to the audience as an interface metaphor to a assemble world. Indeed, there is a growing community of researchers, scholars and industries which interested in them. The motivations for such a research are the evolutionary perspective and the revolutionary perspective. About the former, augmented reality is seen as a way to defeat the limitations of standard interfaces between human and computer; as the latter, the technology which used for its construction, allows the entrance to new types of applications that exploit the different possibilities of presence simulation (Gobbetti, Scateni).
In addition, there is the virtual reality which is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the individuals in such a way that they suspend belief and accept it as a real environment. Augmented and virtual realities technologies are usually used for cultural heritage purposes which focus on learning the process, education and entertainment through interactive experiences. So, there is an another virtual term the virtual heritage, defined as “…the use of computer-based interactive technologies to record, preserve, or recreate artifacts, sites, and actors of historic, artistic, religious, and cultural significance…”(Stone). Virtual heritage’s application can enhance and stimulate the understanding of public about their cultural heritage, as through all those achieved the reconstruction of their past.
In conclusion, the research in the field of virtual reality should have as a starting point that people are well equipped to interact with the world they live in and also should make great efforts to make users interact with virtual worlds, in the same way, they interact with real worlds. Hence, the interaction steps will be more natural and will reduce people’s special training. It is not easy for everyone to adjust and to operate in such environments, but it is not impossible. We should find a way to help in balancing between multiple realities with which people come into contact today.
Gobbetti, En., Scateni, R., Virtual Reality: Past, Present, and Future, http://www.crs4.it/vic/data/papers/vr-report98.pdf, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016
Manovich, Lev, The poetics of augmented space,http://manovich.net/index.php/projects/the-poetics-of-augmented-space, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016
Stone, R., Ojika, T., Virtual Heritage: What Next?, http://www.goddardetc.com/fortmass_extra/Stone_2000_virtual_heritage.pdf, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016
Zakiah Noh, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, and Zhigeng Pan, A Review on Augmented Reality for Virtual Heritage System, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221247704_A_Review_on_Augmented_Reality_for_Virtual_Heritage_System, Web, Accessed on 18/12/2016