Supporting mobile mixed-reality experiences

Flintham, Martin (2009) Supporting mobile mixed-reality experiences. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Mobile mixed-reality experiences mix physical and digital spaces, enabling participants to simultaneously inhabit a shared environment online and on the streets. These experiences take the form of games, educational applications and new forms of performance and art, and engender new opportunities for interaction, collaboration and play. As mobile mixed-reality experiences move out of the laboratory and into more public settings they raise new challenges concerning how to support these experiences in the wild.

This thesis argues that mobile mixed-reality experiences in which artists retain creative control over the content and operation of each experience, particularly those that are deployed as theatrical performances, require dedicated support for content authoring and reactive orchestration tools and paradigms in order to be successfully and robustly operated in public settings. These requirements are examined in detail, drawing on the experience of supporting four publicly toured mobile mixed-reality experiences; Can You See Me Now?, Uncle Roy All Around You, I Like Frank in Adelaide and Savannah, which have provided a platform to practically develop, refine and evaluate new solutions to answer these challenges in the face of presenting the experiences to many thousands of participants over a four year period.

This thesis presents two significant supporting frameworks. The ColourMaps system enables designers to author location-based content by directly colouring over maps; providing a simple, familiar and yet highly flexible approach to matching location-triggers to complex physical spaces. It provides support for multiple and specialised content layers, and the ability to configure and manage other aspects of an experience, including filtering inaccurate position data and underpinning orchestration tools. Second, the Orchestration framework supports the day-to-day operation of public experiences; providing dedicated control-room tools for monitoring that reveal the content landscape and historical events, intervention and improvisation techniques for steering and shaping each participant's experience as it unfolds both physically and virtually, and processes to manage a constant flow of participants.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Benford, S.D.
Keywords: mobile, online, mixed-reality, experiences, ubicomp, supporting, authoring, orchestration
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 10632
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2008
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2016 09:06

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