Changing the relationship between the physical and digital worlds
Augmented reality (AR) serves to visually enhance objects, spaces or people with virtual content. It has the potential to dramatically change the relationship between the physical and digital worlds. The EPFL+ECAL Lab, at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, explores how to tell stories and create content with AR – in other words, how to give this technology the status of a real media. A media only exists if its narrative power and ability to express meaning and values take precedence over technological demonstration.To be truly effective a media’s narrative power and its ability to express meaning must trump technological demonstration. Exploring the potential of emerging technologies through design, the EPFL+ECAL Lab has used the scientific achievements of the EPFL Computer Vision Laboratory to develop, together with designers, a unique narrative basis for AR.
Following four years of research and exhibitions around the world, an award from the DMY International Design Festival Berlin Prize and acclaimed academic publications, “Give Me More” comes to New York in a new edition, renamed Gimme More, enriched by several installations. More than an exhibition, the project is about confronting design research with the public in order to better understand perception principles of an emerging media bridging the real and the virtual worlds.
The prospects of augmented reality are linked to a fundamental question: What makes the value of an object, its identity, our relationship with it? The answer lies in the physical properties of the object, but also its immaterial qualities, such as the story it evokes, the references with which it is connected, the questions it brings up. For a long time, physical reality and immaterial values expressed themselves separately. But with digital technology an object can express its story, reveal information, interact with its context and users in real time. The potential for marketing, information, art, and more generally the significance and identity of objects, including our body, is almost unlimited provided that such performance brings new meaning.