Reading Response Week 10

In this article, Woletz first traces the history of immersive media, as early as the1700s. She gives examples of Villa dei Misteri’s 360-degree vision of surrounding walls, Barker’s panorama, the Holmes Card Viewer, cinema, and etc. However, not until 1956, Morton Heilig built a “reality machines” called Sensorama, breaking the optical illusions as the early works did. Following his idea, in 1968, MIT built the first completely functional Head Mounted Display. These works/machines provide a rough idea for people to be immersed by the world/scene these designers try to describe beyond the oculomotor cues and motion. Later, the invention of Videoplace further explores the immersive effects, and leaps to another level-the body returned. Today, we have “force feedback device”, which allows users to be immersed through the manipulation of optical effects as well as kinesthetic action.

The history of immersive media reminds me of the development of film experience. As I grow up, the movie theaters around me gradually discard the traditional 2D screen. The screen gets bigger and bigger(from boarder screen to imax), the images transform from 2D to 3D, and my friends tell me that recently they even experience a 4D version of Fantastic Beasts 2. It is fun and such experience enhances the darkness and mysteriousness of the film. As they mention, they feel more realistic about the cinematic world and when they watch the films and they could really “experience” the magic world, even feeling the wind when Zouwu flies.

“The broad range of examples from antiquity to current media shows that immersion in artificial space, while certainly influenced by technology, is not dependent on technology alone” (Wolez, 101). Here, she mentions that the immersive experience of the audiences should not rely on technological progress alone but cultures, perception, and even how the audience use these tools to be immersed influence the effects of” immersive media”. Thus, she mentions that for designers, interplay is also important in considering creating immersive media. Her opinion makes me think about my own project in this class. My purpose of the design is to remind people to read and reply the important messages. Therefore, besides giving visual cues as I did for these messages, maybe I should also consider creating more experience to make my users feel immersed, such as adding sound effects or vibration when they receive emergency messages. Also, I should add more user tests since the difference in cultures and usage may influence their experience in my software. Some logical interactions for me may not work for my users.

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