Augmented Reality renders visible the invisible, feeds our memory with information that can be re-enacted on demand. AR, we may argue, is meant to inject some cosmic to “junkspaces”. #memfeed is the hash tag for ‘memory feed’, what could become a research topic for future collaboration. How would you feed memory and why would you want to? The workshop was set so to discuss the use and usages of Augmented Reality technologies. AR… So what? As Hans de Zwart mentioned as we started the discussion, “with our GSP enabled phone and google map, our reality is already augmented.”
The workshop gathered participants from diverse backgrounds and with various interests in Augmented Reality from communication, social sciences, technology and business. Jie-Eun Hwang, presented the research she currently conducts at the University of Seoul: based on the (physical) mapping of the location of popular movie scenes shot in the Buckchon neighborhood, the design and technology lab is investigating how to use AR to transform this analog mapping into a mapping experience. As the geographer Henri Desbois said in Place De La Toile (1): « Les cartes sont des objets en perpétuelle évolution et en perpétuelle actualisation », and que « l’espace cartographique est devenu une partie intégrante de la ville » et qu’aujourd’hui on « habite à la fois la ville et sa représentation » → “Maps are perpetually updated objects” and that “the space of the map has become an integral part of the city”, that “today we inhabit the city and its representation”. The test service is successful in Seoul because there is already a strong interest in movies and pop culture. Does this mean that successful applications are these which augment a reality that exists?
“Social memories on the spot” ← We asked what was AR. From the brainstorming session we concluded that AR enables to “filter” the environment one roams in, it “reveals” the invisible while “blurs” (or inflate the space of) the boundary between fiction and reality. But it needs to have an “application” and enable linkages (between people, people and buildings, etc.).
So far so good. What could we do with it? We have asked participant to think about scenarios of usage other than applications for tourists and we spoke about AR usage in emergency situations – and hope for the service to still work, to measure the mood of a neighborhood and promote wellbeing, and for DIY or DIWO (Do It With Others) reparations.
There are many ideas that could be developed; yet the needs, access and practicality would determine the usage of these AR platforms. Thus AR questions our engagement to things at a time when everything, from relation to peers to connection to spaces seems very fluid!
(1) Henri Desbois, Internet et géographie : les imaginaires de la ville, intervention dans Place de La Toile, émission du 13 Mars 2011