Augmented reality headsets for emplaced storytelling
Findings and recommendations for using AR headsets for storytelling experiences, based on 3-year HoloLens research project ‘Through the Wardrobe’
I present highlights of findings from my 3-year practice-as-research PhD project ‘Through the Wardrobe’, a room-scale AR documentary installation presented at festivals and galleries 2019-20. The methods in my practice-as-research from fine art, ethnography, immersive theatre and documentary studies. These influences have led me to focus on the creation of content and the experience of the audience (whom I call ‘immersants’). This poster is pitched at industry and arts practitioners as much as at fellow academics.
With AR glasses on the horizon from Apple, Facebook and other major tech companies, artists and producers of theatre and story experiences will be looking for ways of harnessing these new devices. There are principles that creators can learn from work with existing AR headsets (such as HoloLens and Magic Leap) and other forms of immersive media and storytelling. Creators need to grasp how the medium opens up worlds of possibilities to create multisensory experiences through looking at embodiment in relation to location and objects – what I term here ’emplaced AR storytelling’.
Rob Eagle is a practice-based PhD researcher at UWE Bristol, funded by the AHRC through the 3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training. His research in immersive media and interactive documentary is informed by anthropology, phenomenology and gender studies. His main PhD project, ‘Through the Wardrobe’, an augmented reality installation, has been exhibited at film festivals and galleries 2019-20, including the Barbican Centre in London, Goethe-Institut China in Beijing, Sheffield Doc/Fest (nominated for the Best Digital Storytelling Award), and International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (nominated for the Best Digital Experience Award).
Rob’s wider artistic practice includes work across audio, film and interactive digital art installations. He recently collaborated with National Dance Company Wales on the R&D project Moving Layers, blending AR and contemporary dance.
Through the Wardrobe installation walkthrough