Augmented Sociality

Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that superimposes digitally created content onto real-world situations, was originally imagined for high-end applications and expert users (e.g., fighter pilots). With the recent advent of consumer augmented reality, which has the potential to provide people with spatially contextualised insight that was previously unavailable, we are now facing the imminent large-scale worldwide consumption of shared AR experiences.  Augmented Reality has the potential to become the enabler of new, powerful, and currently unavailable, forms of socialisation, collaboration, and community.

This project will explore, research and develop new theory and design practice in the socialised experiences of augmented places, services, and communities. We call this Augmented Sociality and we seek to achieve this through:

  • Investigating new socialised uses of AR in which this technology becomes a tool to expand creativity, social relations, and participation. We seek to better understand how AR content can be leveraged by people to create their own new ways of learning, collaborating, and relating to each other.
  • Studying and prototyping new tools and platforms to allow non-experts to create their own AR media. We aim to enable people of all ages, education, and background, to imagine and create, and not just passively consume, AR contents, services, and applications.

We take a holistic look to AR use in-the-wild with the aim to socialise the AR experience to foster engagement, creativity, and socialisation for people of all ages, background, and education, as is the aim of this project. Our central research problems are:

  • To understand current uses of AR in the wild. We will undertake ethnographically inspired investigations of use (face-to-face or remotely) of existing AR applications to clarify the social context, identify issues, and inspire design.
  • To uncover co-design methods tailored for augmented sociality and to prototype an open AR platform that allows people of all ages and background to imagine and give form to their AR preferences.
  • To understand socialisation and collaboration through AR by investigating the AR platform and resulting applications in use. We will monitor and evaluate interaction both qualitatively and quantitatively over time.
  • To explore, understand and develop theory of Augmented Sociality. Through an analysis of the interaction, collaboration and socialisation and how these are co-constituted with virtual (AR) as well as physical objects and places, we will derive an empirically informed, generative theory of Augmented Sociality, to inform future designs and research.

Funding / Grants

  • ARC Discovery (2019 - 2025)

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

Assoc. Prof. Ross Brown (QUT) Dr Selen Turkay (QUT) Dr Joel Harman (QUT) PhD Candidates: Michael Hunter (QUT) Nelli Iines Holopainen (QUT) Shanil Mevan Balalle (QUT) Dieu Linh Hoang (QUT)