inteRactive MR expeRience

The exhibition of the Interactive Mixed Reality Experience will take place within a geodesic dome, specifically designed to enhance the immersive qualities of the project. The aesthetic established in the previous VR experience is continued here, weaving a continuous visual and thematic thread that unifies both components. Players will also use the same headset for both (e.g. Quest 3). Unlike the previous experience, the MR component is far more interactive, offering agency over our apparent destiny, by providing tools to shape our future for the better. By toggling a series of variables with a significant impact on climate change, players work together to phase out fossil fuels, instigate re-wilding programmes, cancel world debt, etc. By doing so they can bring down projected sea levels, promote biodiversity and create a future in their own image. These tools can be imagined as a series of simple levers which players control, either directly or through the Experience Guide.

This MR component will be a visually stunning and imaginative exploration of climate change, embodying the allure and impact commonly found in high-end installation pieces, while maintaining its focus on the critical issues it explores. The design interweaves style and creativity, to realise a format that is both contemporary and memorable.

We recognise the importance of delivering the experience remains intuitive. Therefore, simple navigation and interaction is a key ambition, allowing participants to confront the climate change challenge without feeling inundated by information to ensure an engaging, educational and enjoyable journey.

Unlike the initial VR component, which has already been through an extensive development phase, the MR component is still in R&D and we are exploring how each element within it can effectively function both individually and as part of the larger whole. To that end we are considering a range of ideas from an elegantly simple rendition, comprising five portals onto different urban and natural environments, to a more complex experience which boasts secondary and tertiary elements.

Both are detailed on the following chapters…

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option one >>>

In this rendition of the MR Experience, the dome has a number of recessed sections like windows that will act as digital portals to a series of natural and urban environments. Each window will by furnished with a sill, strong enough for players to lean on when standing. At the beginning of the experience, these MR portals reflect a future world similar to that left behind in the preceding narrative VR component; a future world ravaged by climate catastrophe and barely able to sustain life.

Players are now guided towards these portals and briefed on the tools that they will be using to shape the future. They will learn how to work together to positively influence the course of our planet’s future and witness the impact of their decisions on the different environments over time as it is rendered in real time through each of the portals.

Players will discover how tiny fluctuations in temperature, alter the fauna of a pine forest, or how biodiversity can be either devastated or restored in an Amazonian setting.

They will learn how the decisions we take now, could rescue whole coral reefs and the fragile eco-systems they support. They will witness first-hand how flooding transforms their own hometowns and by working together they can initiate strategies to mitigate its impact.

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option two >>>

This version of the MR experience comprises up to three distinct but integrated elements:

• a tabletop map of the Earth with several chairs placed around it

• a globe of the planet which hovers above the table

• a wraparound environment skinned onto the walls around us

The tabletop map is essentially an interactive 3D map in the centre of an interactive table, which offers a rendition of the earth, with continents and cities rising up off the surface in a frieze. Sea levels, deforestation, etc. will fluctuate as players agree on changes to minimise the impacts of climate change. They can now measure the effectiveness or otherwise of their climate strategies, which play out before them over time; coastlines change, archipelagos disappear or are rescued, and deserts and forests retreat or spread. Players can be seated or are free to move around the space during these shared deliberations.

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The floating globe is a 3D translucent representation of our planet, with an approximate diameter of one metre. It hovers above the oval-shaped interactive table and can be spun forward or backwards in time to transform the tabletop map below. It is also a powerful data hub; a library of urban and natural environments, offering a range of options for specific consideration. These are of course scalable over time, but initially, there may be a number of cities from all five continents and a range of natural habitats to choose from. Those might typically comprise a South American rainforest, polar ice-caps, an alpine forest, a Savannah plain, a river delta and an underwater experience such as the Great Barrier Reef. Players will reach into the globe to withdraw those environments as case studies for the effectiveness or otherwise of their decision-making. In doing so, the nominated environment can be thrown against the installation wall, skinning and re-skinning the surroundings to reflect each one in turn.

The wraparound environment is a 360 visualisation of each selected location. Once a location is withdrawn from the globe, the wraparound skin is activated, depicting the ecological realities specific to that location. It will then operate in the same way as option 1, with the environment transformed around them as players climate strategies are rendered in real time. In this version, the wraparound environment supports the global overview presented by the table-top map, offering a dramatic illustration of the localised impacts of climate change to each of the selected locations.

In this rendition of the MR Experience, the integration of floating points is a key aim, designed to significantly enhance user interaction. These floating points, strategically placed within the virtual environment, are intended to serve as interactive guides and information hotspots, facilitating both exploration and collaborative engagement. They act as tools for learning and decision-making conducive to cooperative exploration and strategy.

MR-Reality