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augmented reality narrative environments


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This presentation explains the origin of the "Narrative Navigation" project. Using mobile augmented reality as a narrative DIY environment. Developed as a NIMk/ArteMov artist-in-residence project by Sander Veenhof and VJ Pixel.

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augmented reality narrative environments

  1. 1. A SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT PATH TOWARDS THE“NARRATIVE NAVIGATION” PROJECT SANDER VEENHOF in cooperation with VJ PIXEL NIMk / Arte.Mov artist-in-residence project 2012 1
  2. 2. My background: a fascination for mixed realityexperiments: connecting the virtual reality to theoutside world. Sitting outside in the park whilestaying connected to my SL friends back in 2007,using a mobile phone as walkie talkie to theSecond Life world.
  3. 3. Next step: accurate mapping of the virtualand the physical domain. Realised within thecontext of an augmented reality exhibitionat TAG in 2008: interactive city walks withparticipants from both worlds. Avatars andreal persons met each other on a sharedGoogle map, with live indication of thepositions of the Second Life avatars, beingregistered by an automated avatar movingaround in sync with the group in The Hague.
  5. 5. A kick-off for a range of semi-public space experiments using mobileaugmented reality. The sign could be read as “No QR-code basedaugmented reality at the square”. True! Augmented reality does notneed any physical adaptions to the space anymore.There will be no way to prevent the positioning of GPS-based AR. Thismight result in a layered environment, with multiple parallel realities.Confusing? Yes. So perhaps a sign like this will be necessary in thefuture, keeping us connected in one shared reality.
  6. 6. The physical domain and its walls, borders and limits no longer dictate space. AR is free to go anywhere. Viewers are free to decide what to view. Even free to become the creators themselves, in the unbounded domain of hybrid reality.
  7. 7. uninvited augmented reality guerilla exhibition “We AR in MoMA”October 2010, Mark Skwarek and Sander Veenhof 7
  8. 8. The MoMA as DIY domain. Additional artworks shown across the 6 floors of the museum, viewable through smartphone with the Layar augmented reality app.
  9. 9. MoMA extended with a virtual 7th floor.A permanent pied-a-terre for possiblefuture virtual residencies, for
  11. 11. Technology of the past and technology of the future are niceshowcases of AR, but the radical increase of the relevance of ARcame with the massive adoption of smartphones in our day-to-daylife, and their combination of features that provides anyoneanywhere in the world access to a local virtual reality realm, whichis globally connected at the same time.
  13. 13. PUBLICITY It’s great that AR potentially has a global audience, and that it could in theory be available to any person anywhere in the world. Only they have to know about it. With marker-less AR such as GPS-based Layar or Junaio content, this is half of the job when creating an AR project. A cause-and-effect cycle needs to be activated for AR projects to become succesfull.RELEVANCE IMPACT
  14. 14. For example:Putting a virtual traffic light on a smallbike path on the island Terschelling inthe Netherlands, was an attempt totrigger the attention cause and effectcycle starting with the most difficult oneof the 3: the impact. This light wasaiming to be a virtual item capable ofhaving an impact on its local physicalsurroundings.
  16. 16. The “Augmentizer” team at theThe “Augmentizer” team at theLowlands festival 2011 copied peopleLowlands festival 2011 copied peopleinto augmented reality. It was a way ofinto augmented reality. It was a way ofstoring and documenting this festivalstoring and documenting this festivalon the spot, and leaving the recordedon the spot, and leaving the recordedmaterial to be experienced at thematerial to be experienced at thelocations the recordings occurred.locations the recordings occurred.
  18. 18. Scenes of the “Meet Your Stranger” participative outdoor mobiletheatre experience were supported by a virtual decor and props.
  19. 19. During the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht there were a number of storylinesthroughout the city, visible to smartphone owners.
  20. 20. Written by theatre writer “Madeleen Bloemendaal”the dialogues appeard above the heads of randompeople on the streets, who acted as stand-ins forthe characters in the fictional stories. 21
  21. 21. As an extension to that project, I imaginedwhat it would be like to provide choices alongthe way, choosing a certain direction of thestory by walking one way or the other.Instead of pre-writing the whole set of storieswith a limited number of chosen writers only, Iwanted to explore the possibilities of creatingan open narrative environment to whichanyone could contribute.This proposal was my input to theArteMov / NIMk artist-in-residence project. 22
  22. 22. Orginating from the fact that the narratives would beavailable outdoor, throughout the city and that walkingwould be a way to ‘use the interface’, an presentation styleof virtual signposts was chosen for both the narrativecontent as well as the narrative structure. 23
  23. 23. As opposed to printing stickers or producing andspreading physical signposts as a one time intervention,we chose virtual signposts because in that way theycould be adaptable and extendable.Not agreeing with a certain course of events in the story?Write your own ending, in case of a fictional story. Or incase of documentational storyline: add your history,anecdotes or statements within the right spot of thenarrative structure. 24
  24. 24. A database powered Junaio augmented reality channelwas created. Interactive controls and features allowedpeople to branch any spot, starting a route towards anew narrative point and entering their written contentthere. New story/route options appeared as additionaldirections on the signposts. 25
  25. 25. While conceptualising this participative DOCUMENTARY dynamic framework, it was clear that the possible use of the storywriting- mechanism and the and the types of contributions would be of a wide variety. Therefore, it was decided to make use of a similar map-like organisational approach on the level of the different content types as well. The city map could function as the interface FUN QUOTES towards a certain content genre. HORROR 26
  26. 26. To provide some guidance and to put thestorywriting efforts of our intendedparticipative audience on track, somepreliminary stories were written and theappropriate locations near CCSP in SaoPaulo were selected to host the stories.Some areas focussed on historic writing,others on fiction and one area was meantto be a playground for experimentalnarratives, which we hoped to trigger byproviding this non-linear storywritingmechanism. 27
  27. 27. Technically, the system was sufferingfrom a variety of issues, with lack ofprecision of GPS reception being theforemost problem. It made the usageof the interface a challenging andfrustrating task, as there was nodelete/undo/change/overviewfunction (yet). A web-interface wouldhave been a way to solve thoseissues, but then the project would bejust one in large history of Googlemap experiments. Whereas we wantedto explore the opportunities ofnarrative experiences for theforeseeable augmented future.“Narrative Navigation” can be bestseen as a working prototype of aconcept that does suit our currentweb 2.0 world turning web 3.0. As in3.0 dimensional: people in control ofwhat they see and experience in theirsurroundings, becoming a creator ora writer when they feel like it, whenthey have something to contribute totheir local semi-digital environment. 28
  28. 28. In some way the experiences andthe conclusions from the ambitiousNarrative Navigation project will beapplied during a project beinglaunched at the Oerol theatrefestival on the island Terschellingin The Netherlands. The fixedpositioning of items will be muchmore loose, accepting the currentlimitations of the technique. It willbe an exchange of words, virtuallyflowing with the wind. An exchangeof thoughts and contributions. Eachday, a new well thought of questionwritten by theatre writer MadeleenBloemendaal will trigger people tothink, be creative or be open abouttheir thoughts, memories or futurewishes. Blowing them into thevirtual sky for others to hunt forthem.woordenjutten.nlOerol location theatre festival
  29. 29. NARRATIVE NAVIGATION NARRATIVE NAVIGATIONOne final “fork” to mention. In style with the Narrative Navigation fundaments, also the way the augmentednarrative experiments will be carried on, is going to be a geographically oriented development, as VJ Pixeland Sander Veenhof will take their experiences from the shared residence and will continue to work onvariations of the project within their own artistic practise. MEMELAB.COM.BR / SNDRV.NL