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Enhancing Occupant Experience with 3D Mobile Augmented Reality (Video)

By

Maria Lorena Lehman

|

Founder — Sensing Architecture ® Academy

Image Credit: © shadows44 | Flickr

It is undeniable that mobile phones with operating systems that get updated frequently are becoming more widespread globally. In fact, phones like the iPhone are helping people with a variety of tasks ranging from keeping track of their health and finances, all the way to realizing new types of face-to-face communication, social media and now 3-D video — see the new Samsung W960 phone here.

The introduction of 3-D into the world of mobile gadgets makes me think of what might happen when these “gadgets” are being carried around by occupants within architectural designs which include office buildings, museums, schools and even hospitals. Is there any reason why you as an architect should ignore such devices and what they can do to help your architectural designs? Think mobile augmented reality here.

Such mobile devices can be not only a great way to pool information about your occupant(s) “status” within your building, but can also serve to help you design new adaptive systems within your building in entirely new ways. Just imagine the more personalized experience and better collective effect your architecture can give them.

Here’s a quick example:

In much the same way as you might design a large architectural design element in one place, and then indirectly refer to it through your design within a smaller element somewhere else, you could design a 3-D video or hologram visible to occupants that might carry their mobile device to certain parts of your building to augment what they experience there. Yes, this can bring signage and wayfinding to a whole new level.

Beyond Typical Building Signage and Wayfinding

When I think of this, I think of more than just creating a 3-D map that your occupants might carry around to help give them a sense of where they are, or they are going, within your designed space. Instead, I think of an augmented reality type experience where the 3-D virtual meets 3-D real-world space. It’s as if your occupant were carrying around a 3-D flashlight, but instead of simply illuminating light to see where they are walking — it would act as a 3-D fully colored “model” that changed dynamically with each experience they had, helping them along the way.

With this, might you create a new kind of architectural narrative for your occupant? Giving them hints of what is just around the corner through their personalized and mobile handheld 3-D virtual world? Or might you let them take home a personalized montage of different “elements” that made up their experience within your architecture — not to be too cliche, but kind of like a transient “souvenir”? Or better yet, a 3-D “memory” derived from a real-life experience from within your architectural space.

This is just some food for thought to get you thinking about emerging technologies in a new way. Think about how you might be able to use them to your advantage as you develop experiences for your occupants within your building spaces. If you have not seen it yet, here is a look at the new Samsung W960 mobile 3-D technology by Dynamic Digital Depth:

 

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what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

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