Information Spaces in AR/VR

An experimental design project that explores an emerging concept of information spaces. This concept is behind Microsoft’s pivot to create future Windows operating systems that exist in mixed reality headsets. Students will explore the concept of a news/information app that exists in AR and/or VR. For example, a political news feed might exist on a wall in your living room, and breaking news would appear on a coffee table, twitter reactions surround the coffee table on the floor. Students will also explore the same concept in a virtual environment.

Faculty and Staff Leads

Zach Wise

Associate Professor

Emmy winning interactive producer & Associate Professor @NorthwesternU, @KnightLab. Formerly of The New York Times. Creator of TimelineJS & StoryMapJS

Rebecca Poulson

Engineer

Rebecca leads AR/VR projects at Knight Lab. In addition to being a software developer and playwright, Rebecca is an Oculus Launchpad Fellow and Mozilla Tech Speaker. She has taught WebVR workshops on three continents.

Project Details

2018 Spring
Information Spaces in AR/VR

Description

An experimental design project that explores an emerging concept of information spaces. This concept is behind Microsoft’s pivot to create future Windows operating systems that exist in mixed reality headsets. Students will explore the concept of a news/information app that exists in AR and/or VR. For example, a political news feed might exist on a wall in your living room, and breaking news would appear on a coffee table, twitter reactions surround the coffee table on the floor. Students will also explore the same concept in a virtual environment.

Important Questions
  • How do people manage a space for information?
  • How does a space affect information retention and impact?
  • Does a physical mental model of a space cause problems if the information is moved to another space?
Sample Milestones
  • Domain exploration. Research, experience and discuss VR/AR information spaces. Students will spend the first two weeks of class learning 3D modeling and prototyping.
  • Develop a prototyping workflow.
  • Prototype information environments, user test, feature definition and iteration.
  • Build working prototype aimed at possible future product.
Outcome

Students will grapple with an understanding of how space affects people’s understanding of the information in it. Discover and document new opportunities for human understanding of information. Working prototype for the outside world.

Students

Nikola Boskovic

Xizi Sun

2019 Winter
Designing Information Spaces for Augmented Reality

Description

Immersive technology allows creators to engage users in new and novel ways, many of which can make the interactions users have with information easier or more meaningful. This project will look at a four different storytelling formats that exist today (a cooking blog, a sports broadcast, a web interactive and a podcast) and reimagine them for augmented reality using tools like Torch for iOS and Magic Leap’s Create tool.

Important Questions
  • Spatial relationships strengthen our ability to encode and consolidate memories, how might we leverage that to help users understand complex stories?
  • What role can audio play in guiding users through AR experiences?
  • What are the key differences in designing information spaces for mobile AR vs a headmounted display?
Sample Milestones
  • Week 1-2 Building familiarity with tools and designing and example of a Timeline JS timeline in AR
  • Week 3-4 New York Times’ “Cooking” newsletter
  • Week 5-6 Olympic Curling broadcast
  • Week 6-7 WBEZ’s “What’s That Building?”
  • Week 8 Final Presentation
Outcome

Students will build a prototypes of a variety of information spaces using tools like Torch and Magic Leap Create. The final output will be a website that includes prototype demos and summarizes lessons learned, key takeaways and hypotheses for future investigation (similar to Uncharted Territory: Diving in to Data Visualization in Virtual Reality)

Students