Spatial Design blog

What are the keywords to describe your project?

  • augmented reality
  • social interaction
  • hidden connections
  • virtual identities
  • shared experience

What is the general scope of ideas?

To create a mixed-reality space that encourages interaction between strangers in a physical space by augmenting the interaction in a virtual space that is displayed to all the participants. Each visitor will be given a physical tag (with a 4x4” tracker marker printed on it) that will be used to track their position and interact with other visitors seen by the system. Live video of the visitors will be projected with augmented graphics based off the visitors’ positions.

The exact content hasn’t been decided yet. Ideas under consideration:

  • Each tag corresponds to a character in a play. Lines of dialog between two characters appear between them when they are present in the frame. Scenes with multiple characters require all characters to be in the frame before the dialog is displayed.
  • The visitor positions are used as input into a system for generative graphics. E.g. each visitor is an attractor in a particle system (a flock of birds fly between visitors)
  • Directions appear over each visitors head telling them what to do. Instructions are generated based off the relative position to other visitors (e.g. “move towards the person on your left”)
  • A ribbon graphic is created between the visitors

What parts of the general scope are specifically covered by your project?

The project allows visitors to experience augmented reality and explores how their relationship to each other in the physical space is changed by presenting an augmented experience.

How to introduce your project?

“Name tags” will be distributed at the entrance to the show. The name tags will consist of a 5x5” square of foamcore with an AR tag on the front and string so it can be worn around the neck. A small sign will invite visitors to wear the name tag and replace it when they leave the show.

Your intents for the project?

To create a space which is a mixture of real and virtual, and which encourages interaction between visitors in the mixed-reality space. The goal is for visitors who are in the same physical space to interact with each other through the virtual projected space, thus blurring the line between real and virtual.

The starting point for someone experiencing the project?

The starting point will be the kiosk with the name tags at the show entrance. The kiosk will not give away the purpose of the tags – this will be revealed when the visitors enter the room containing the video projection which reacts to the AR tags.

The audience or users for your project?

The immediate audience is the show visitors. This project could be applied to situations where presenting augmented information about each person would encourage social interaction. Examples include parties and conferences.

What does your project provide that other similar projects do not provide or provide differently?

It allows multiple users to interact in an augmented reality environment without specialized hardware or training.

What are the resources available to you today for this project?

Materials from ITP (assumed): Projector and projection screen, PC with OpenGL compatible video card, PCI or USB video capture device, MiniDV or composite video camera, 30’ S-Video cable, directional lighting.

What are the missing elements for your project?

Materials for the name tags (foamcore), mounting bracket for video camera, frame for projection screen to make it look like a mirror (optional).

How do you plan to provide these element?

Beg, borrow or buy.


  • augmented reality (mixture of real and virtual)
  • showing hidden connections
  • virtual identities (masks)
  • changing social interactions


  • must be easy for visitors to get into the experience
  • clear view to tags
  • clear lighting of tags