What does immersive mean?

Lightning Talk

Friday, April 30, 2021: 12:30pm - 2:00pm - - Lightning Talk

Kate Haley Goldman, HG&Co, USA, John Russick, Chicago History Museum, USA

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can enhance visitor experience and foster specific outcomes for informal learning institutions, particularly in creating emotional resonance and deepening sense of place. This capability can add complexity and nuance to both place-based and non-place based locations, allowing people to be transported in time, feel they are elsewhere, experience a different perspective.

This lighting talk will explore under what circumstances AR or VR is most effective, based on experiences at the Chicago History Museum and elsewhere. Our project at Chicago History explored the variety of ways visitors perceive immersion and sense presence.

During the course of our work, the team worked to build a shared vocabulary and specificity around AR and VR experiences, specifically within the concepts of immersion and presence. These two terms are frequently used interchangeably, yet parsing them can help those developing such experiences be more targeted. In build a shared vocabulary and specificity around AR and VR experiences. In Slate and Wilbur’s 1997 framework for immersive experiences, they define immersion as an objective description of aspects of the system such as field of view and display resolution. Presence, on the other hand, is the subjective phenomenon such as the sensation of being in a virtual environment. Examining Slate and Wilbur’s definition of presence, there are multiple overlapping elements. For example the most common sensation would be absorption– a sense one was in a virtual world, enveloped by and included in that world. It could include co-presence, the idea that others are in that world as well, and you are together. It could include telepresence– being in a real remote location, and/or having moved within time. One might have agency within that space, or be an observer. During this lightening session, we will share the framework we used to examine the nuances of immersion and presence within AR and VR.

· Radu, I. (2014). Augmented reality in education: A meta-review and cross-media analysis. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 18(6), 1533–1543
· Schuemie, M., Van Der Straaten, P., Krijin, M., and Van Der Mast, C. (2001) Research on Presence in Virtual Reality: A Survey. CyberPsychology & Behavior V.4 Pgs. 183-201.
· Slater, M and Wilbur, S. (1997) A framework for immersive virtual environments five: Speculations on the role of presence in virtual environments Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 6.6 Pgs 603-616