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May 4 Augmented Reality Experience

Overview

The May 4 augmented reality experience is designed to is designed to immerse and engage users as they journey through the events of May 4th. The experience includes both physical and digital components and invites users to view perspectives of the Kent State Massacre through the lens of augmented reality using historical imagery, audio and related experiences that highlight humanitarian struggles.

As the tour is initiated, participants follow a trail through the Kent State Campus that chronicles the events of May 4th using augmented reality experience. Augmented reality (AR) hotspots along the path transport the audience to that fateful day via the use of images overlaid on present day imagery as well as audio from the time period. Users effectively view the events from the same physical space and time through pictorial and aural historic place restoration. Each hotspot focuses on an important aspect of the events and underpin the humanities themes.

The cross-platform online experience includes a custom AR interface utilizing global position (GPS) data, as well as gyroscopic sensor feedback to overlay historical photos over the users’ device viewpoint and trigger archived sound clips creating a window to the past. Each hotspot supplies additional media and links to enhance and engage the user in the underlying humanitarian values through different perspectives and viewpoints.

Situated Narration

Combining present and past for a situated narration, in which distant events are displayed “here and now” for eliciting immersion and engagement. This solution can be described as a technology-mediated place restoration, which increases the user’s predisposition to learn and be involved.

Environmental Narration

Keeping the user’s attention to the real environment by providing supporting and not overwhelming inputs (e.g., overlapping images, environmental sounds and audio), which is why AR was selected as reference technology. Therefore, the KSU campus speaks by itself rather than relying on a virtual reality, which risks making the whole path unreal and disjointed.