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…

Pixel Theory
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Pixel Theory

(Or, have we ever been physical?) Still from Shinjuku Calling (Yamagami Yukihiro 2014) Layering of the virtual on to the real is usually how Augmented Reality is described and explained, but layering is a strange metaphor to understand what is at stake when considering the physical-digital environments we live with.  As provocation, consider when typographic ink lands on physical paper;…

The Ambivalence of Beauty (Filters) in AR: Gender Exploration & Selfie Culture
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The Ambivalence of Beauty (Filters) in AR: Gender Exploration & Selfie Culture

‘Pop Beauty Stains, Filter” Heemsbergen L. 2023 (Midjourney) While using apps like TikTok or Instagram, if you decide to include an augmented reality (AR) filter (or lens) onto your image the top filters that come up, algorithmically targeted to users, will almost always include at least one ‘beauty filter’. A beauty filter is an AR…

“My VR does not acknowledge me as a person”: Is the metaverse leaving disabled users behind?
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“My VR does not acknowledge me as a person”: Is the metaverse leaving disabled users behind?

Last month, Apple revealed its long-teased Vision Pro headset, a device that uses augmented reality technology to project a digital image onto the physical world. But, Apple revealed, it won’t work — at least out of the box — if you wear glasses. Instead, you’ll need to buy inserts to attach to the device lens. Apple’s…

The identity, emotion and gaze behind Apple’s Vision Pro
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The identity, emotion and gaze behind Apple’s Vision Pro

When Apple introduced their Vision Pro it represented another iteration of the immersive head-mounted display dating back to Ivan Sutherland’s experiments in the 1960s, but with a difference. Apple’s Vision Pro is not only a high-resolution immersive display for the person wearing it, but also features an external display that gives the impression for those…

How Augmented Reality Comes to Be
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How Augmented Reality Comes to Be

Evolutionary tree of tech (Authors-Midjourney) There is no shortage of diagrams that purport to explain the evolution of technology in society. One fun diagram in the academic study of emerging technology is Geel’s (2002) “dynamic multi-level perspective on [Technology Transitions].” The diagram sure beats popular industry sources like the Gartner Hype Cycle diagram in terms…

Getting our VR legs: Who is using VR?
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Getting our VR legs: Who is using VR?

In October 2022, Forbes reported that 100,000 people had stopped using Meta’s social VR app, Horizon Worlds. This wasn’t surprising, given that Meta’s employees apparently weren’t using it either. In internal memos, Vishal Shah, Meta’s VP of Metaverse, reprimanded employees for not using (and not ‘falling in love’ with) the app, arguing that “the aggregate…