December 8, 2005

Scott Fisher @Tech

by Michael Mateas · , 2:05 pm

Scott Fisher gave a talk at Tech today on ubiquitous storytelling. Scott’s been visiting Tech for the last couple of days – Ian and I enjoyed a nice dinner out with him last night.

First presents the standard real-world < -> virtual world taxonomy, with augmented reality and augmented virtuality in the middle. His company, Telepresence Research, was started in the early 1990s to commercialize some of the research directions he explored during his time with the virtual reality group at NASA Ames. Much of his work has been concerned with the notion of presence. In his current thinking about presence, he’s going back to environmental art work in the 1970s, folk such as James Turrell, Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, as well as the ancient tradition of Japanese garden design, trying to understand how the strong sense of presence, specialness, uniqueness of place that these artists achieve could be applied in augmented reality. The Environmental Media Project, which Scott worked on in Japan circa 1999-2003, superimposed information in a specific place, Keio University in Japan. So, how does this connect to storytelling? Inspired by the work of artists such as Janet Cardiff, who created spatially situated narrative using relatively low-tech techniques, they’ve been building systems such as Pathalog (this, and other related USC mobile tech projects are described here), that present information and narratives about a physical space based on users’ recorded physical paths through the space. Also doing work in persuasive and augmented reality gaming with projects such as Chôjô.

Ubiquitous Storytelling Issues: