WeCoupling Workshop at TEI

As a part of my attendance at TEI in Yokohama, Japan, I participated in a workshop called WeCoupling. The people who ran the workshop defined WeCoupling as “an umbrella term for bringing together a diversity of experimentation concerned with shared first person experiences, whether transferring/controlling sensations and/or actions between two or more people.” I chose this workshop because I believed it would prove inspiring to the topic of our studio project, and it definitely was.

We think a lot about mixed reality as being a way to transport people across space and through time, but what about transporting people into the body and the perspective of another person? What if you could fully immerse yourself in that other person’s perspective? Not just visually but through all of the senses? What does it really mean to know someone else’s point of view and experience?

These four prototypes that we had the opportunity to try were different takes on this idea. ParallelEyes allowed users to experience the world through the POV of yourself and three other users. This was disorienting, but also, once you got the hang of it, allowed for a more complete picture of the space you were in. BioSync allowed one user to control the movements of another through electrical impulses. JackIn Head allowed users to walk around where another person is, in 360 degrees. The Childhood suit simulated the experience of being a child’s height.

Imagining future applications of these technologies was really rewarding and inspiring for our studio project, and it was exciting to be able to bring all of this back to my team after being away.

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