Defining (x) Realities
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Defining (x) Realities

Anyone who studies or talks about augmented reality and virtual reality technologies will inevitably get asked the question: but how is that augmented/mixed/virtual reality? Isn’t that more AR than VR? How one talks about these technologies is continually evolving. With every application/device that is released a version of this debate gets kicked up again, whether…

VR-induced Awe: Can entertainment content also induce awe?

VR-induced Awe: Can entertainment content also induce awe?

This article is derived from our research recently published in Computers and Human Behavior. For a more detailed account of our research, you can find our full article here. Awe, emotion, and virtual reality Growing empirical evidence has implicitly shown that virtual reality (VR) is an effective means to provide various virtual environments that depict…

How Play Shaped Augmented Reality
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How Play Shaped Augmented Reality

Play has always been at the centre of the metaverse. Gaming technology has a clear place in the history of virtual reality and worlds. From Oculus Rift’s role in reinvigorating interest in virtual reality (Evans, 2018), to persistent virtual worlds like Second Life shaping our perception of virtual worlds (Boellstorff, 2015), games and gaming technology…

The body as data: Immersive technology and biometric artistic performance
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The body as data: Immersive technology and biometric artistic performance

The performer Sarah Nicolls sits poised at a piano at a darkened concert hall in London. This is no ordinary recital—strapped around her arms are Myo Armbands that track her arm movements, allowing her to generate curious and unnerving sounds through gesture as she plays Atau Tanaka’s (2019) biometric piano piece Suspensions. In Madrid, Marco…

Who wants to govern the metaverse?
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Who wants to govern the metaverse?

The governance of the ‘metaverse’, underpinned by extended reality (XR) technology, has garnered increasing attention from policymakers, industry, and regulators. Despite highly productive critiques of industrial governance practices and initiatives – such as those focused on responsible innovation and diversity, equity, and inclusion within XR – there has been limited comprehensive examination of XR governance…

Dying in VR/AR/XR: Rehearsing to get it right
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Dying in VR/AR/XR: Rehearsing to get it right

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) are mediating technologies uniquely positioned to explore and experience death and where death might be rehearsed. Like an illusionist’s suitcase of magic tricks, what you see may not be real, but imagination of the intangibility of death is possible with ‘artificial’ design propositions through technological…

Apple’s vision of ourselves
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Apple’s vision of ourselves

What is Apple’s spatial computing getting us into? Apple’s first mixed reality headset combines and relates digital visual and auditory information with your surroundings launched this week. Despite despite critics questioning its actual use cases, desire for the device has seemingly blown through pre-order availability with deliveries now tracking more than a month out from…

The Power of Technology Companies in Shaping XR News Discourse
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The Power of Technology Companies in Shaping XR News Discourse

According to Evans (2019), the re-emergence of virtual reality (VR) began in 2015. A few years earlier, in 2012, multiple large technology companies (such as Google, Samsung and Sony) announced new extended reality (XR) products that would be released in subsequent months/years. In particular, 2016 was a key year for the industry as multiple dedicated…

Dis/Unity: Why game engines are central to the metaverse
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Dis/Unity: Why game engines are central to the metaverse

In September 2023, Unity had to eat its words as the game production community “united” against the platform (Parrish, 2023b). Developers vociferously proclaimed boycotts and that the company was greedy, adding that titles made from its software of the same name would be removed from distribution store shelves (Parrish, 2023a). Their angst, directed at the…

Beyond Boundaries: Navigating the Art and Ethics of Hyper-Reality Design
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Beyond Boundaries: Navigating the Art and Ethics of Hyper-Reality Design

If you’ve just lost ability to differentiate between simulated reality and the authentic one, you’ve attained hyperreality, as defined by Jean Baudrillard, and described more recently in Curtis Hickman’s Hyper-Reality: The Art of Designing Impossible Experiences. Hickman, a renowned experience designer and co-founder of The Void, introduces a design framework for the creation of immersive…

Researching XR Futures
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Researching XR Futures

Over the past few years, my research has been focused on exploring the imagined futures of XR technologies. Beyond just trying to understand what kind of future projects industry envisions, I’ve been particularly interested in studying the values and logics that anchor these visions. There’s an essential set of questions that emerges when industry enthusiasts…