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Experiments in AR - Midterm Project

For the midterm project, there are two ideas that I’d like to further explore and evaluate the feasibility.


(1) Fear Fighter

The goal of this project is to experiment whether AR could be utilized as a tool to cure specific phobia, how to do that, and to what degree the fear can be resolved. To be more specific, I’d like to explore how AR could help people combat and overcome their inner fear. I’m inspired by Dr. Robert Reiner’s work in virtual reality therapy. After doing initial research on common phobias, I have narrowed down the subject matter to specific phobias such as fear of bugs, heights, flying and dogs etc. Due to the complexity and difficulty of designing augmented objects to serve as an efficacious tool to alleviate social phobia / agoraphobia, using AR to help ease people’s phobia towards certain objects seem more practical. For now, the idea is to create an app / gaming mechanism that encourages users to complete step-by-step tasks / missions. The stimuli that triggers fear is spider or cockroach, as bug is the most prevalent phobia among people. The stimuli will be brought to life as a virtual object residing in actual world. Tentative tasks assigning to the users are as follows:

  • Approach the stimuli in certain distance (the app shall show the distance between the user and the stimuli in real distance)

  • Touch the stimuli

  • Open a box full of stimuli

  • Allow the stimuli to crawl on the user’s skin

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(2) Virtual Acting Academy

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The second idea is to test how AR can help students or professionals with an aspiration in acting career to further enhance their acting skills. The goal for this project is to verify whether AR can serve as an efficacious teaching tool in the acting field, and whether such tool may be of practical usage for acting schools in NYC.

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The concept of application is stated as follows. First, the user need to wear an AR headset. Next, be it creating vivid environment and props, practicing dialogue with a virtual character, or entering a virtual space / acting room full of like-minded students practicing acting for certain role, the possibility of virtual acting academy is unlimited. In the past, students had to practice acting in a simple, stripped-down setting where imagination reigns. With AR, the conventional acting exercise - touching the invisible wall - can be done as if a real wall is presented in front of the students. Say if the play requires acting as a cowboy to throw a lasso, with AR, students can practice as many times as they want without the limitations of time, location and budget. To go further, if the play requires the student to act as an ape, I think it would be helpful to enter an “acting room for ape” where student can meet others and observe their acting in order to further improve.

Tanic Nakpresha