VR, AR and beyond

Last year we presented a work that allowed 30 people to share a VR “virtual theater” experience, all in the same room. People could see each other, but as avatars of themselves.

This year (this week in fact) we presented a work that allowed 6 people to share an AR “virtual theater” experience, again all in the same room. The experience itself was not as overwhelming — it all took place in miniature on a tabletop — but people could literally see each other.

It’s been fascinating to observe the tradeoffs between these two modes of immersive storytelling. The shared VR experience is all around you — you and your friends are transported together into another world entirely.

The AR experience simply affords you a view into another world, without actually taking you there. Yet you and your friends have a greater sense of each others’ presence and response to the work.

Ideally we will find a third way — one that transports you together into another world, yet maintains the richness of connection that you feel with one another in real life. Maybe we will show that next year. :-)

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