It is interesting how Woltz describes immersion in terms of different mediums. In today’s age of technology, we are becoming obsessed with how immersed we can be in different mediums to provide the best user experience possible. Though, Woltz describes immersion in a physical form as well. She takes that concept and applies it to physical art, like Frescos or exhibitions. Film has made steps to make the movie watching experience more immersive too, with 3D, IMAX, surround sound, and curved screens. These features manipulate depth perception.
What my mind goes to when reading about the sensorama is how to make it more portable. The machine displayed in the picture looks like an old arcade machine, and is now outdated in our landscape. Though, what would be the alternative progression in this day of age? Maybe a mask, or VR headset with additional features. Perhaps if each sense would just come out of one singular portable device? I am interested in how this type of immersion experience can be applied.
The way I am interpreting interface is an object that has function. The rise of immersive media made way for interfaces to take on their own environment, with the internet and such. Immersion can be as little as allowing user interaction within the environment. The level of immersion has to do with how complex the interface environment is.
This article talks about different interfaces and what actually defines an interface. One of the most interesting parts in the article was the one-person reality machine. It’s an amazing invention of the time since virtual reality was not a possible concept of the time. It also matched sensory feedback such as wind and sound effects, which is very impressive for its time.
By 1968, there was already a full virtual headset one can put one and fully function. It’s very similar to my design project, as it uses stereoscopic displays for each eye to display a 3D like image for the user. Each eye gives feedback of spatial depth and this is still used today, and it is the most advanced technique for virtual reality. To add movement, the environment around the user can seem like they are in motion to make the user feel like they are moving around the environment.
This is very interesting as I never knew this concept was around for almost half a century. I thought virtual reality was a fairly new concept, but people have been testing it for years now. It’s amazing to see how far we got, as the article displays an image of the first headset, and it’s more like an arcade machine than a headset.
This week’s reading was an article titled Interfaces of Immersive Media. In this article, author Julie Woletz discusses the notion interfaces within immersive and interactive media. Woletz argues that interfaces of media are not recent developments brought on about by new developments in technology but rather modern iterations of efforts to immerse people in media that go back centuries.
Woletz discusses examples of immersive media comprised of panoramic paintings that date all the way back to 1787. Additionally, Woletz provides examples of many other devices that were made during the early 20th century that sought to give users more immersive experiences. Such examples include The Holmes Card Viewer, the Sensorama, and MIT’s Head Mounted Display. Reminding us that the interfaces of immersive media are no new development.
I found this article to be interesting. Mostly because it reminded me of the developments in Film that I have learned in my other film classes. It is honestly crazy to think about what the future is going to look like.
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.
In this reading, instead of concentrating on technology, Julie Woletz focuses on the interfaces of immersive media, and elaborate how various interfaces of spatial media create effects of immersion by addressing the body in different ways. Julie Woletz thinks that we can simply define immersion as an objective measurable effect of certain parameters of media technology depending on human perception and presented depth cues. Following such a technological approach, immersion can be divided into three distinct degrees: non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully-immersive.
A non-immersive environment is when the device only enables a viewpoint from outside the environment and the user only looks at the artificial world. A semi-immersive environment is when the viewpoint is inside the environment like in a cave, but there are still other stimuli available. A fully-immersive environment is when they work with device like a head mounted display that shows a viewpoint inside the environment and at the same time blocks out other sensory information.
I would like to talk about my opinion about the relationship between games in the future and fully-immersive environment. In my opinion, a good game should always creates a fully-immersive environment, because only in fully-immersive environment can players be leaded into the world of games. On the one hand, the fully-immersive environment can make players really enjoy the games. On the other hand, the fully-immersive environment also reduce the lifetime and the market of games. Because not all people will take more than one hour everyday to fully-immersive into a game. We live in a world with high diversity, so everything in our society are tended to be made like fast foods, so that people can quickly get it and move to next things. Hence, I really looking forward the fully-immersive media, but I don’t know our society can accept the fully-immersive media with slow pace.
In this journal, Julie Woletz briefly goes over the history of immersive media, and argues that the value in immersive media lies in the interplay between the recipient and media, as opposed to solely the technology itself. For example, Woletz points out that while we have made increasing efforts to improve our image spaces, we have yet to fully incorporate the body by “enabling kinesthetic action.” I like the fact that Woletz made note of the evolutionary history of immersive media, starting out with frescos and panoramas leading up to the sensorama and modern devices like oculus rift.
Woletz breaks down the degrees of immersion in virtual environments into three categories: non-immersive, semi-immersive, and fully immersive. This made me realize that most of the devices we interact with fall into the first two categories since almost none of them block outside stimuli. Woletz explores an interesting idea saying that the ultimate display would be a room where the computer can control the existence of matter. Only this would accomplish the goal of being fully immersive and interface-less. This reminds me of the training room that Neo and Morpheus used in the Matrix. Since the idea of having this kind of interfaceless room is technologically far away, the challenge for designers is to incorporate as many elements of bodily interaction into virtual environments.
This article makes me wonder about the future of immersive interaction in media. One can assume it will only improve, and I believe that people are starting to realize the value in it. However, it is interesting to see that at least in my mind it has progressed relatively slowly. The use of 3D immersive screens and kinetic inputs have been utilized to some extent by gaming companies but not much in other areas. Like Woletz suggests, I think that an improvement in the interplay between the recipient and the media, and the development of solid kinesthetic controls may be what it takes to make virtual environments more useful.
This reading consisted of a list of prototyping tools to help with drawing screen mockups. The list was in alphabetical order and contained many prototyping tools. They varied in what their emphasis was and some appeared to be free while others cost money. It was hard to look at all of them since some of the links no longer worked and others required some navigation to see their features.
For my digital prototype I think that finding a tool/program that is simple and easy to use, but has the right amount of tools to design a good aesthetic is something that would be ideal. One thing that interested me is that some of them offered interactive features that could be useful when demonstrating my prototype to others.
I noticed the list was last updated in 2014 so I wonder if there are any new tools/programs that have been released since then. Overall I think this is a very good list and I hope to find something that works for me and my project.
Reading Responses: (Week 10)
Interface Critique Journal: Interface of Immersive Media
This reading focused in on the idea of “immersive media,” in doing so, the author defined immersive media as the users’ perception and involvement within the media, noting that its not solely advanced technology which makes such immersion possible, but it can also be achieved through different mediums as well. The author also pointed out a large part of what makes a specific type of media “immersive” is illusion.
As I read this article, I couldn’t help but apply it to my own individual design, I realized that my design is essentially trying to create/allude to the feeling of presence, and feeling so immersed in the media you essentially forget its there. I feel as though incorporating smell and touch, for example, may be able to imitate the feeling of togetherness, in a way, sight doesn’t. Another component of this article, which I thought would be applicable to my design was taking note of and incorporating the many dimensions of an object. In other words, if the user is able to see, smell, and touch, things simultaneously, rather than one at a time, it might enhance the overall user experience.
Throughout this article, the author noted and delved into the concept of immersive media. At times, I found some of the content extremely relevant to my design project, and others I felt were not as imperative. However, I feel as though reading this article will positively influence my design solution.
This weeks reading consisted of a list of tools (programs and websites) that could provide some help for our class’ interactive designs. For the most part, the programs and sites found on the list are geared towards helping designers draw screen mock-ups of their interactive designs. In short, many of these tools help create templates for what an interactive application would look like. In fact, many of the tools incorporate the use of wireframes, which we learned to use just last week.
While the list provides a wide array of tools from which students can choose from, I found that most of the tools on the list did not pertain to my design problem. As many of these sites were geared towards creating computer and mobile application mockups. My interactive design is not a digital application but rather a three-dimensional device that is meant to be worn by a user. Additionally, the device does not contain a screen.
However, I found many of the tools in the list very helpful for many of my classmates who are dealing with applications. In fact, as I was reading through the programs, I could see many of my classmates’ work being brought to life by these tools.