My research interests include human-computer interaction (HCI), augmented reality (AR) and media art. In particular, I research scenarios where the virtual and the real intertwine, interact and intersect.
My PhD research investigates the fundamental characteristics and possible manifestations of AR. More specifically, it explores those unique AR scenarios and experiences that have no equivalent in a purely physical world. I have taken a human-centered approach that argues from an experience-based perspective rather than from a technological point of view. In my thesis, three defining aspects of augmented reality are discussed: the virtual, the real and their relationships.
With respect to the virtual, I have both created and studied virtual objects that look, feel and behave differently from real objects. Furthermore, I have explored what forms the virtual can take other than that of visual virtual 3d objects. In particular, I have worked with binaural audio to convey the presence of virtual objects in real space.
Considering the real component in AR, my research has focused on the multimodal qualities of the real and the possibilities it provides for interaction. Whereas existing research often focuses on interaction between a user and virtual content, I have argued for interrelating the entire real environment (including, e.g., temperature, wind, sounds, smells) and its virtual contents.
Regarding the relationships between the virtual and the real, I have identified both spatial and content-based relationships as decisive for AR. Aside from these, I have mainly studied influences and interaction between the virtual and the real. In this context, I explored the degree to which physical laws could be simulated as well as the possibilities to work with imaginative ‘virtual-real hybrid laws’ instead. For instance, I implemented a scenario in which virtual objects are attracted by real objects of a similar color and shape.
In summary, there are two main contributions of my research: On the theoretical side, it provides a better understanding of what augmented reality is and potentially could be. On the practical side, it suggests novel forms of AR that do not imitate or simulate reality, but truly provide new experiences and interactions.