Published on January 22nd, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
In the Home of the Future, Every Surface is an Interface
The line between our actual reality and a digital one is becoming increasingly harder to separate. This article by Mark Wilson at Fast Company shows how an Oculus Quest user/developer/designer created a “digital twin of his home and made his entire living space an interactive experience. This is certainly the greatest potential of AR/VR/MR/XR as our entire worlds will become touchpoints for information. This will be content that we want to know and AI telling us things that we need to know. Stay tuned.
Image: Greg Madison
A UX magician maps a VR world over his apartment to create an entirely new interactive environment. Could your home be next?
Virtual reality is still in its infancy. But thanks to Greg Madison, who is both a magician (literally!) and an interaction designer specializing in spatial computing at the video game engine company Unity Labs, we’re getting a taste of how burgeoning VR technologies might add up to something new. After spending 22 hours in 3D modeling software, he used the Oculus Quest to turn his apartment into a fully tangible, digital copy.
The demo would’ve been impossible until last year, when Oculus VR released the Quest headset. It’s the first VR product that’s both jaw-droppingly immersive and easy to use. The Quest provides a compelling window into a VR world, but it also provides key creature comforts, like mapping your room’s layout to provide a safe play space and even seeing your hands so you don’t need to use controllers. Most of all, the Quest can see the real world and digital world at the same time, which means the boundaries between the two get murky, fast.
This effect is what Unity calls an “extended reality” or Microsoft might call a “mixed reality.” Basically, it’s an environment that’s part real, part not.
As you can see in the video above, Madison built a system where he could sit at his real desk, or his real piano, or his real couch, but through his headset, he could see their digital shadows, and a whole secondary layer of screens and interfaces. It means he could literally walk through, and touch, a piece of software, because it’s built 1:1 atop his room.