Prompted by expanding developments in the field of augmented reality, my team wanted to explore how we could open up the personal reading experience by augmenting the surrounding environment. By linking your home’s heating/cooling, lighting and sound system to a book’s narrative ebb and flow, we can create a subtle immersive experience. What was once a private experience is now shared with those who enter the room, becoming a new way to evoke conversation about what we are experiencing. The project developed as a rapid exploration through prototyping sprints of how we might push the boundaries of the reading experience. The project is a bold exploration about how we may read in the future.

I worked collaboratively with Saumya Kharbanda and Kaylee White for the duration of the two week project for the CMU MDes IXD Studio on the ideation, video prototype and demonstration.

How can virtual reality support a private everyday experience in becoming a shared experience?

The Demo

The final result of the project was a proof of concept demo. We created a scenario of a reader selecting books based off of the aura (or “mood”) of the books. Though ideally in production this effect would be created through the home’s integrated lighting system, we created the effect using a ceiling-mounted projector. Then the demo followed the reader as she skimmed through the book and the aura of the lighting changed (through the projector) as she hit different arcs in the narrative. We demonstrated how she could be able to pull and save these moods through a simple tugging gesture.