How Can Immersive Experiences Elevate Our Daily Lives?

December 19, 2019 Neha Aziz

Believe it or not, it’s almost the end of the decade! How we digest information and, more importantly, experiences are quite different than from the year 2000. Enter immersive interfaces – our exposure to this technology has the power to do a lot, especially in the realms of history and real world problems.

The XR Track explores where these mind-expanding systems are heading. Also referred to as Extended Reality, XR covers virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

Immersive and Accessibility

If you attended Jessica Brillhart‘s Convergence Keynote at SXSW last year, you’ll remember she talked a great deal about accessibility in reference to one of her projects, Beethoven’s Fifth. Brillhart wanted to dig deeper into the concept of hearing, especially given the composer’s creation of music despite his deafness. “I wanted to build the experience from the ground up with both the act of hearing and deafness considered, ” Brillhart said.

To expand on this, we suggest checking out Looking to Listen: AR for Hearing Impaired. Recently, emerging AI technology starts to enable computers to understand the various sounds we hear in daily lives. Yoonchang Han and Subin Lee will share their Looking to Listen (L2L) project that combines AR with machine listening AI for enriching the lives of hearing impaired. L2L aims to visualize the surrounding sound in a real-time so that they can visually understand what’s going on. The pair will go on to explain what kind of sound can be identified as well as how acoustic information can be effectively transferred to visual information while making the most of potential of AR.

XR and Problem Solving

We live in a world where we are constantly devastated by a myriad of different things; whether it’s a natural disaster, gun violence, or loss of a historical landmark. Surprisingly, XR can play a role to help deal with these serious issues.

In Dealing with Real-World Problems in XR, Courtney Cogburn, Alice Formwalt, Justin Hendrix, and Desmond Patton aim to answer what are the key considerations when designing XR experiences for real-world social impact, in addition to, the ethical and narrative challenges researchers, entrepreneurs, and artists grapple with in these new media. The panelists will also discuss how these applications teach us about the powerful potential of XR technology, and the risks we need to manage as technology grows.

On April 15, 2019, Notre-Dame was nearly destroyed in a devastating fire. As the tragedy unfolded, people began sharing photos and videos of the Cathedral. However, others chose to relive their memories virtually through the video game, Assassin’s Creed Unity.

Heritage sites are continually threatened by time, natural disasters, wars, and more. When Video Games and Tech Bring History to Life will explore how technology, culture and entertainment can converge to raise awareness of social issues and turn museum visitors into caring citizens via immersive giant-screen projections and VR experiences. Armelle Arrou, Aurélie Clemente-Ruiz, Deborah Papiernik, and Yves Ubelmann will discuss how they help bring people around the world closer to history through technology.

Browse More XR Sessions

Formerly known as VR/AR/MR, the XR Track complements the Virtual Cinema programming! Discover more XR Sessions.

For a broader look at our 22 Conference tracks, browse all sessions on the SXSW Schedule and add events to your Favorites list.

XR Sessions

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Register and book your housing for SXSW 2020 early for the best rates. While you await the 2020 Film lineup (coming in January), browse the latest confirmed programming for SXSW on the online SXSW Schedule including Conference sessions for Film Tracks and more.

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Explore 22 Tracks of Programming

Virtual Cinema – Photo by Adam Kissick

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