Topic Post: AR/VR
The AR/VR workshop gives thorough information about AR/VR technologies. AR/VR is just like the rest of the technologies (writing system, printing, internet, etc), what they are doing is to provide people access to resources. It is a process of making resources accessible not only to the few lucky ones but also to every single human being. However, while other technologies might only able to communicate through content, AR/VR can communicate through sensory and physical experience, which creates lots of new possibilities as well as philosophical questions.
In terms of possibilities, firstly, AR/VR can create more integrated experiences by filling the gap between physical and digital interaction. In my IxD history course, taught by Barry, we were talking about the differences between physical and digital interactions and I wrote an essay about reading a physical magazine v.s. reading a digital magazine. Some experiences are lost when users choose to use digital products and services. On the other hand, designers also struggle on what touchpoints should be designed as physical and what should be designed as digital to leverage each of their strengths. Hopefully, as AR/VR applied to more areas, people won’t need to pick between the physical and the digital since all experiences have been naturally integrated into one.
Secondly, AR/VR can be a great tool for empathy in many areas. When I was researching for the project, I saw an article about applying VR for D&I workplace. Besides game and entertainment, I believe AR/VR will be applied to more serious and impactful areas. For example, in the future, every audience may have a VR headset on for an election debate. When a candidate mentions a topic such as animal rights, relevant immersive experiences such as the situation on the farm will be shown in front of the audience's eyes.
On the other hand, it also reminds me of philosophical discussions that people always discuss when watching science fiction such as Tron, Neuromancer, and Matrix. The most popular example I can think of is Hatsune Miku, a Japanese virtual vocal idol that has millions of fans. Creating our virtual world is a trend and the line between real and fake is getting more ambiguous. I guess we will be able to create something like the Anywhere door (Originally from Japanese Cartoon “Doraemon”, a door that allows people to go anywhere at any time) but just in different kinds of format.