Todd Margolis

Augmented Reality

“We don’t necessarily have to think of immersion into the virtual and augmentation of the physical as the opposites... it all depends on how we understand the idea of addition: we may add additional information to our experience – or we may add an altogether different experience.”
-Lev Manovich

Augmented Reality

Out of the Box

Curated and produced by "Future of Reality" (Todd Margolis in collaboration with Tracy Cornish)

Out of the Box is a mobile Augmented Reality Alternate Reality Game (mAR2G), which merges a curated exhibition of VR artworks in mAR with a transmedia narrative to create augmented socially immersive experiences. Several key design features of the project include the integration of social media platforms to engage a community of participants; localizing events for a novel form of spatial exploration; and persistence to ensure replayability and a foundation for a growing narrative world.

As an exhibition, Out of the Box consists of Virtual Reality artifacts (VRAs) re-contextualized in mobile augmented reality. Viewing the VRA and choosing how to interact with it is the most basic form of participation. The choice, however affects the experience of other participants. In addition, the participant can tweet or facebook activities from within the AR browser which are aggregated into website forums for discussion, inquiry and action. A deeper level of interactivity is built into the experience through a transmedia story, more specifically an ARG which provides participants the option to delve into the narrative that unfolds across social media, websites, forums and mAR. The story develops differently depending on the entry point into the project, with the possibility of two people playing side by side having completely different yet connected experiences. Physical installations offer an additional level of interactivity. Employing the ARG concept of “this is not a game”, these fictional HQs provide real-time updates of players/VRA locations, broadcast media particular to the organization, and live actors fulfilling the roles of characters.

The deep backstory designed for narrative immersion, the integration of real world media platforms and live events, in conjunction a with broad range of social interactivity provides a framework which fosters social immersion within mAR. With this in mind we propose the term augmented social immersion to describe this integrated form of mAR social immersion.


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Out of the Box, SPIE ERVR - San Francisco, CA