Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cine AR

Ben Stevenson came up with the idea of an app that allowed the viewer to experience scenes from movies based on the locations of those scenes, viewers actually standing where these scenes were shot could watch the actual scenes through their mobile or tablet devices. It's a locative idea mostly, meshing previously captured material with actual present tense. It's an interesting idea that could be further developed to say show reenactments of history or pertinent social events.

There are different forms of augmented reality, from the Layars experience which may be the seeing of Social Media or webpage feeds through the lens of your portable device, or the London Museum AR App which layered photographs of times gone by over contemporary buildings, or three dimensional models using a 3D registration with markers to show an animated object or character like those created with String, and finally the kind of experimental AR production being done like this one, which also used String but captured 3D footage using Kinect.

The practical application of AR in our locative spaces is still finding its footing. I gather that for the experience to begin to discover the direction best suited to its form, our physical loci will also need to change in order to encourage immersion. Not just dedicated environments set up to explore what augmented reality is, but active participatory locations that call upon the passerby or visitor to engage with dimensions of content. Everyday communication with our devices requires our everyday appearances in portals of architecture and landscape to be synchronised in some manner.

To me, AR is more than just an augmentation to our reality, it is an exchange between object and representation, an inclusive means of interpreting formation. It is one device talking to another, and the user becomes the medium of interpretation. When Huysman describes the ideas behind sensory artifice integrated within our liveable world, that premise progresses from the minds eye to through the lens of our portable media devices, diegesis and mise-en-scène become transformative functions of the sensory.

For cinema this is certainly interesting. At the most ambitious level I could have a film that is played out in different locations around the world seemingly forever. The audiences could be following the narrative almost for their entire lifespans, and still not experience every scene created. So many possibilities because the application is aligned to our actual malleable world.

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