Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Future Reality, Oh My!

Sarah A. Riddick

Locative Media

In an earlier post I discussed some of the difficulties we face in understanding augmented reality as a result of its many conflicting definitions. Fortunately, these definitions generally agree on a few elements: technology, mediation, interactive experiences, combining the non-digital and the digital. Unfortunately, just when we might feel like we’re able to comfortably describe augmented reality to anyone who asks, we’re confronted with another issue. How is augmented reality any different than virtual reality? Instead of attempting to provide any

Augmented Reality Has Arrived and It’s Ready to Be Analyzed! Well, Almost.

Sarah A. Riddick

Accessibility, Devices, Locative Media

Lately, augmented reality has been making a lot of headlines in the tech world. This week, for instance, Microsoft revealed its HoloLens, a visual headset that allows people to interact with and manipulate complex, projected visuals. In a promo for the HoloLens, a woman wearing the headset customizes a Volvo car before buying it, building it up from the nuts and bolts with gestures as simple as pressing her thumb and forefinger together. It isn’t quite the tech we see Robert

Augmented Reality and Smartphones: Friends or Foes?

Sarah A. Riddick

Devices, Locative Media

A hand is holding up a smartphone that shows an AR-app in use. The screen looks like the camera mode is on, but there are three translucent boxes overlaid on the streetview, which show the names of three locations on a German street that have free wifi, as well as their wifi's signal strength and the walking distance to each location.

Pardon the spatial-rhetorics wordplay here, but I am increasingly getting the sense that the topic at the center of this locative media research group—augmented reality—feels simultaneously like unfamiliar and familiar territory. I have spent a substantial amount of time researching and reflecting on locative media, especially thanks to my time in Dr. Casey Boyle’s Fall 2014 course “Spatial Rhetorics and Locative Media.” There we’d often discuss the ways in which mobile technologies affect perceptions of embodiment and place, and, as