A First Step Towards the Last Step


I continually move closer and closer to defending my thesis every day. Today, I made some of the steps that push me into a final sprint! I’m quite excited to make these steps, so I’ll be writing about this today.

The biggest of these steps was writing a rough draft of an abstract for the thesis. It was quite difficult to summarize the last 5 years in under 150 words. But, I thought about the most important discoveries and lessons I learned throughout my time here, and then tried to compact that into a few brief statements. Here it is:

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) systems have become increasingly popular in the worlds of entertainment and industry. However, many current systems are limited in scope to experiences that isolate a single user within a given physical space. While many such experiences allow for interactions between remotely located users, very few experiences allow for multiple users to coexist in the same physical space while interacting with a consistent world-view of shared virtual objects. Our research has found that by enabling this co-located paradigm, users are able to have rich interactions that are otherwise impossible. This thesis presents a series of experiments that demonstrate the importance of the social aspects of co-located AVR, a set of solutions that overcome the difficulties often encountered in such experiences, and directions for future scalability using upcoming hardware and technologies.

For years, we’ve been developing methods of using existing hardware to create shared worlds where people can gather, enter a virtual world, and have an experience together. From Holojam to Holodoodle, from Wonderland to a Cave, it’s exciting to piece everything into something that tells this years long story.

But, as much as this feels like the end of something, the last portion of my thesis will explain why this is just the beginning! Many projects that I have been a part of during my time are continuing on for many years after I leave, always pushing us into the future of reality.

That’s all I can share for now, though. Keep reading in the following weeks as I finish it all up!

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