(Images courtesy: Microsoft © 2015, DAQRI LLC © 2015, Atheer Labs © 2015)
Professor Ruth West, together with two students and a University of Tasmania collaborator, published in the proceedings of the SPIE, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2015. West presented the paper to an enthusiastic audience at the conference held in San Francisco Feb. 8-12, 2015, followed by a lively question-and-answer session.
The paper “Embodied Information Behavior, Mixed Reality and Big Data” is a snapshot of the current renaissance in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality technology and the promissory contexts in which those systems are developed.
Written with two xREZ Art + Science Lab students – psychology senior Max Parola and journalism graduate student Amelia Jaycen – the study outlines the process of innovation as it unfolds in developers’ laboratories and the consumer marketplace, where a narrative about a hybrid physical-digital future affects how the Internet of Things will become a part of our human lives. The authors find that data immersion must be examined through the lens of human information behavior, our embodiment, and how our sense of presence changes per the technology’s characteristics.
According to the study, the intersection of “embodied information behavior, mixed reality technology and big data” is presented as a seamless interaction of material reality and digital data, a vision of immersion on-demand, on-the-go and sensorial augmentation beyond that which is humanly possible. Hybrid virtual experiences consisting of ‘being there’ and ‘being here,’ mean that users are present in both physical reality and virtual reality at the same time – a state of constant data immersion.
“As data becomes as ubiquitous in our lives as the architecture we exist within or the air we breathe, a need arises to revisit the role of our bodies, our physical embodiment and senses, explicitly in relation to data or information.”
Ruth West, Max J. Parola, Amelia R. Jaycen and Christopher P. Lueg “Embodied information behavior, mixed reality and big data,” Proc. SPIE 9392, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2015, 93920E (March 17, 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083519
Read more at the SPIE Digital Library, or read the full entry, downloadable below.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, focusing on “advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.” See West’s portfolio Viewing Space website for a list of other SPIE publications, and her UNT Faculty Profile for more information.