Interactions Molly carter

Projection Mapping

Projection mapping (also known as video mapping and spatial augmented reality) is a projection technology that can turn objects into a display surface which you are able to project videos onto. These objects can range from walls and everyday items to buildings and theatrical stages.

One of the popular way projection mapping is used is in the theatre. In the past, backdrops would have been painted, however it is much more efficient and cost effective now to use projection mapping to create backdrops, as it takes a lot less time to create this type of backdrop instead of taking hours painting a set. I can see the advantages of this as it means that sets can be changed and created quicker, and the set can include interactive content and animated areas, where before they would be just a still image.

In the workshop we used HeavyM, MadMapper and other IOS apps in order to do our own projection mapping. I thought it was a really interesting workshop and still want to learn more in my own time. The only downsides I could find were that everything needs to be done in the dark, this would be ok if you are projecting inside or in winter, however if you are projecting outside in summer you will have to wait until nighttime falls. In addition, the equipment is fairly expensive for those who want to learn projection mapping, as a small projector costs around £80 if you are lucky, which personally I think is a little expensive, especially for those wanting to learn such as students.

Projection Mapping on the ceiling

One way in which projection mapping could be used, could be to project work in offices. This could be one way in which meetings between companies or sectors of a company could be held without all of the colleagues in the same room. For example, a document could be projected on one side of the wall, and on group of people could edit it, whilst in real time another group of people can see the changes happen on their projection in real time. This could also link to a program such as skype so that the two groups can converse and see each other as the work is being done.

Virtual Environments

This week we used the Vive, Occulus Rift, and other apps like Augment and Aurasma.

Virtual Environments Workshop

Augmented reality and virtual reality often get mixed up. Virtual reality is controlled by an accelerometer, with one lens off centre to give a 3D effect, and is typically fisheyed. Augmented Reality however superimposes an image on the users view of the real world. It takes an original image and blends new information onto it, an example of this is Pokemon Go, Snapchat filters and the touchdown line. The key to augmented reality is the software, they are written in a special 3D such D’Fusion or FLAR, these allow you to make Augmented Reality markers in the real world.

The Pokemon Go app

Augmented reality has its advantages, its interactive, has unlimited constraints, is cost effective, adaptable and mass deploy able, is virtually weightless and has had historic success. It is generally used in games, which I what we used it for in the workshop where we played a Portal spinoff called “Slingshot”, but apart from games AR is also used for things such as military training and mobile marketing. Before the workshop I had used the Oculus Rift before, however using the Vive was a completely new experience, as you could walk forward and move your arms and the Vive would pick it up, moving your character in real time. This for me made the whole experience feel much more real compared to other types of Augmented and Virtual reality, and I can understand why equipment such as this is used for military training, as it can simulate a realistic environment for users, without putting them in any danger.

Other ways in which this technology can be used could be in museums. They could offer a virtual reality experience that would take the user back to the historical era that the exhibit is based on. This would literally "bring history to life" as it would allow for the user to exist in the time period and walk around and explore it. In the simulation, there could be information that appears when a user interacts with certain objects, so that users can learn extra facts as well as experiencing the simulation.

Another way in which virtual reality could be used could be in certain therapy, where people can face virtual fears. Virtual reality in therapy has already been trialled in the NHS, but is yet to have advanced any further. Personally I think that this would be a brilliant use for virtual reality in helping to treat some mental conditions as well as other problems.

Interactivity with Microcontrollers

This week we used Arduino and Littlebits to understand micro controllers better. A micro controller is a small and inexpensive computer, which is usually used for sensing input and controlling things from the input. Micro controllers are easy to use with simple sensors and output devices, at first I didn't think that this was the case, as Arduino looked fairly complicated, but soon found that it was fairly simple to use.

This weeks workshop

Arduino is an open source project that creates micro controller based kits for building devices and interactive objects that can sense and control physical devices. Arduino doesn't need a separate piece of hardware to load new code onto the board, in addition it uses a simplified version of C++ making it easier to learn to program. I think Arduino does have its advantages, as it does make it easier for beginners to learn to program as it is a lot more accessible than other products, however it is very expensive so isn't as accessible for people such as students who want to code, as the price for a starter pack is around £80. Micro controllers would be very useful for designing a simple interactive device that doesn't need a lot of power, and can be created on a smaller budget.

One way in which Micro controllers could be applied within the real world could be a store display.

An example Christmas Store Display

Using micro controllers for a store display would allow for the display to be much more interactive with shoppers. An example of its use is perhaps placing a touch sensor or light sensor near the window, so when shoppers touch it a certain spot or move past the window, something such as a reindeer moves, or perhaps it could make snow fall. Audio could also be triggered, such as sleigh bells or the sound of reindeer hooves.

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Created with images by suncana - "DSC02480"

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