We explored many projects within the tangible interface space for our inspirations — including work at the Tangible Media Lab in MIT, and interaction demos by Leap Motion — but our biggest source of inspiration came from Brazilian artist Lygia Clark. Clark designed situations for people to engage directly and tangibly in her artworks. Through interactive pieces such as Air and Stone and Abyss Mask, Clark creates sculptures and interactive scenarios which exist through and are enlivened by direct relationship with the participants’ body. She called these pieces ‘Relational Objects.’ In our virtual experience, we were inspired to create a ‘relational’ system made of tangible, virtual, and human elements, made manifest through interaction.
• We sought out to create a multiplayer VR experience using tangible materials as interface, without traditional controllers.
• We wanted to cultivate a sense of embodiment within a mixed reality experience, and promote connection between the players through touch.
• We wanted to create an experience that encouraged collaboration and communication between the two players, through primarily non-verbal means.
Sand VR Demo
In the virtual experience, little virtual spheres (nicknamed “Guppies”) are physically affected in real time by the changing sand terrain. Participants can move the guppies around by cupping them in their hands, or by making rivers and pathways with the sand. The darkness of the environment was utilized to interrogate VR as a blindfold, and heighten the sense of touch as a key to immersion within the environment, rather than rely on our privileged visual sense.