Kassie Headon 2019

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Sync In

Sync In invites you to explore how two people interact in physical, augmented and virtual reality through multi-sensory and collaborative tasks. Find a shared experience and be surprised by your perceptions in a near-future world where Artificial Intelligences need you to help them understand human interaction.

Participants are invited to step into a near-future in which artificial intelligence (AI), cybernetics and the adoption of socialism has released people from their requirement to work for a living. In this future, AIs have specific jobs to serve human society but they still require data from humans to develop. This particular AI is learning about human interaction.

Participants go through three stages of 'realities' in Sync In:

1. Sense checks in physical reality

Participants listen, smell, and touch sensory stimuli, and discuss what they think it is. They try to come to a consensus

2. Augmented reality challenges

Wearing a head mounted display (Vive Pro and Passthrough Cameras) the scene changes to a stereoscopic live feed of the room so participants can still see one another, although distorted. Gradually virtual objects and glitch effects make the scene more challenging to see one another. Participants are asked to reach out and feel a connection between each other by tracing a line which appears on a mesh screen between them. The final task in this scene, plays different audio tracks to the participants and they are asked to find something in common between their sounds and say their answer(s) out loud.

Two people performing the line challenge

3. Virtual reality

Participants transition into a virtual reality scene where they see different visual environments. They discuss to find out what each other is experiencing, and find something they have in common.

Sync In aims to promote a feeling of social connectivity between the two participants, and the virtual content is designed to promote discussion between them. Sync In is positioned uniquely in the virtual and extended realities landscape by using the utilising the affordances of the cameras on the front of the Vive Pro, which act like virtual eyes for the participants. This two player experience explores themes like collaboration, social connection, transitioning from AR to VR, and elements of performance and speculative design.

Sync In was presented at the Bristol VR Lab at the Virtual Reality (MA) Degree Show in December 2019. It is a collaboration between Kassie Headon, Christina Constantinou and Harrison Willmott.