Technology

Your body is driving a new wave of AR, VR experiences

Inside the softly glowing room, I pace around a table with an iPhone to reveal an augmented-reality mystery.
Digital characters on my screen drop breadcrumbs for me to follow back to the scene of a murder.
As I trace their trail of clues, my movements make everything around me change — the lights, the scenes, the sounds I hear in my ears.
The use of movement and location to direct the flow of the story is one of the key elements of The Dial, the brainchild of Peter Flaherty.
While he wanted to incorporate augmented reality, which overlays digital media on top of the real world, and projection mapping, which shrink-wraps video onto physical objects, the most important technology for telling his story is one we’re already constantly using: our own bodies.
“The more your body’s engaged in any interactive or immersive form, the more meaningful it is,” Flaherty said in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival on the night before the fest opened late last month.
“Those choose-your-own-adventures — where you choose A or B, pathway one or two — for me is never that exciting. But if you’re actually kinesthetically moving your body, you’re engaged.”