Interactions By Hannah Tullett

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) is a term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment. Virtual Reality is fictional and usually refers to a specific type of reality emulation.

I have explored the world of Virtual Reality in both scheduled workshops and outside of university. As a result I have found that VR can lead to new and exciting discoveries which can impact upon our day to day lives. Virtual Reality is an exciting concept because it enables us to experience places and scenes that we may never come across in real life.

I've learnt that Virtual Reality has become more and more popular, people who wouldn't usually engage in such activity are now becoming more acceptable to the idea. I think that this is due to the fact that a variety of headsets are now available, some at a low cost. For example, companies such as Go Ape have now integrated VR into their corporate packages as a reward for customers. Go Ape supply a cardboard headset with a 3D film which is used in conjunction with an VR App on any mobile smart phone to allow a fictional Go Ape experience.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) joins together both the virtual and the real to create a new entity. Augmented Reality is a technology enriching the real world with digital information and media, overlaying in real-time the camera view of your smartphone, tablet, PC or connected glasses.

Just like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality is becoming more and more popular. It is an extremely clever concept that is recognised for it's eye-opening experience which offers users the chance to see both fictional and everyday objects come to life; it allows users to view virtual holograms as well as manipulate 3D models.

Hundereds of Augmented Reality Apps are available on iPhones, iPads and even Android. One well-known example of an Augmented Reality game is Pokémon Go. This App allows users to experience fictional characters come to life in the real world. Another example of Augmented Reality is through the popular social media platform Snapchat. Snapchat displays a variety of filters, more specifically "World Lenses", which enable users to discover hidden objects in the world around them using both their outward-facing and self-facing camera lens.

Projection Mapping

Projection Mapping is fairly self-explanatory. Projection Mapping consists of using standard projectors to map light onto any surface, this enables standard 2D objects to become 3D forming an interactive display. Projection Mapping can be used in a variety of different ways. The video below illustrates some examples which include projecting onto buildings, the floor, human bodies, the stage and even cars.

As a group, we experimented in workshop time with a software programme that enabled us to use the projectors to project images and patterns onto the walls of the classroom as well as each other. Below is a video of our experimentation.

Microcontrollers

A Microcontroller is basically a small computer. Mircocontrollers are hidden inside a number of products that we use today, such as the LED screen or keypad of a microwave, inside the TV or DVD remote control, and you can even find multiple micro controllers inside modern cars to control the engine or the anti-lock brakes. It is a fascinating concept that we only really briefly touched upon and explored on a very small scale.

In the workshops we focused mainly on Little Bits and Arduino. A Little Bits kit contains magnetic, interconnecting circuit boards that make up LittleBits' library of electronic modules. Little Bits is essentially designed for children or people with very little knowledge or experience in the area. It is easy to figure out and is possible to create all sorts of devices using the different electronic components.

I experimented with the Little Bits kit in workshop time. I used elements such as the sound trigger and LED light to transform sound into light as well as using a pressure sensor with a vibration monitor to create noise. Below are some images of the equipment we used and the devices we made.

I found the Arduino kit much harder to come to terms with, I didn't get very long to experiment with this hardware but I understood that Arduino was an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino can be used to interact with buttons, LEDs, speakers, cameras, the internet, and even smart-phones or the television. I am also aware that the Arduino platform is becoming more and more popular for beginners as it does not need a programmer, you can simply just use a USB cable.

Overall, I've felt that I have learnt a lot from the three weeks with Clive and I have been enlightened by the advances of modern day technology and genuinely amazed by what we have discovered and achieved this semester.

References

http://www.lci-uk.com/video/339/3d-video-projection-mapping-building-projection

Created By
Hannah Tullett
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "NASA Blue Marble 2007 East" • fill - "vr virtual reality glasses" • PublicDomainPictures - "video mapping projection"

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