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Friday, May 03, 2019

‘Blended Reality’ brings diverse perspectives to emerging tech | Arts & Humanities - Yale News

Held on April 26 at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, the exhibition “Liminal Views” featured 12 “blended reality” projects by students and faculty, reports Mike Cummings, Humanities & Social Sciences.

Undergraduate Lance Chantiles-Wertz and Justin Berry, principal investigator for the Blended Reality Research Program, review a campfire experience created to demonstrate the Clamshell Controller, an electronic interface device that will allow user to incorporate various sensors to manipulate a virtual world.

Four turntables are arranged on a table at a zoo by the bear enclosure. Play a record and the bears stand up and boogie. Turn around and Pegasus hovers over another enclosure. Toss an apple into the pen, and you will be astride the winged steed, poised for a memorable ride. 

Yale sophomore Noah Shapiro created this fanciful virtual zoo. It is an immersive experience he developed in consultation with Yale Cancer Center’s Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Program to provide a measure of joy to children during a frightening and difficult time.

I thought that a zoo experience would be fun for the kids to explore and, in some way, restore some normalcy to their lives,” said Shapiro, who plans to major in computer science. “I hope the fact that they can control the animals in different ways provides them with a sense of agency.”

Shapiro presented his zoo experience at “Liminal Views,” an exhibition of a dozen “blended reality” projects by Yale students and faculty held on April 26 at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media (CCAM). The work presented was part of the Blended Reality Research Program — a partnership between Yale and HP supporting innovative, cross-disciplinary projects that blur lines between the physical and digital worlds.  

The program seeks to make emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D fabrication, and digital imaging, accessible to a broader range of people, opening new creative avenues for artists and scholars, explained Justin Berry, the research program’s principal investigator and a critic at the Yale School of Art...

CCAM — an interdisciplinary research center at 149 York St. where traditional arts blend with computer science and technology — serves as the hub for the Blended Reality Project. People from varied fields and backgrounds can collaborate there on projects and tease out ideas using a broad range of media resources, including a range of cutting-edge digital tools.

Shapiro recounted spending long nights at CCAM over the semester while creating his virtual zoo, which features flying whales and hungry rabbits in addition to dancing bears and Pegasus.
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Source: Yale News