Research Project

Augmented Reality (AR) Exhibition in the MIT Infinite Corridor

Idea

Use augmented reality (AR) tools to install a virtual exhibition of Danny Goldfield‘s 1 to INFINITY portrait photography series in the MIT Infinite Corridor in Cambridge MA USA.

Floor plan

The exhibit will start on the ground floor in the Atrium of MIT’s building 7, located at 77 Massachusetts Avenue, which is the main entrance to the institute. Starting with a 1-year-old, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, etc, the AR portraits of a person from each age, holding age tokens with ascending numbers, will lead you approximately 500 steps down the Infinite Corridor. The portraits and counting numbers will lead you up a stairwell to the 2nd floor.  An elevator is nearby for alternative access. On the 2nd floor the age numbers will continue to rise from 57 to over 100 years old, bringing you 500 more steps to the 2nd floor balcony of the Atrium where the exhibit started. From the balcony you look up and follow the age numbers ascending into the 100’s, spiraling up to an infinite point in the Atrium’s glowing white skylight. The exhibition will a be proof that the MIT Infinite Corridor is in fact infinite.

Questions

How will the latest features and limitations of AR tools impact the exhibition design?

Is an App AR or Web AR tool best for this exhibit?

How will the exhibit be triggered to start?

What is the smartest system of waypoints and triggers?

How close to 100% virtual is possible? Can no physical trace of the AR exhibit be anywhere on or in the buildings?

Can the existing MIT seal on the wall in the Atrium and other features in the space trigger this AR exhibition experience? 

How to enable visitors to contact Danny Goldfield if they are an age not yet included and they want to be photographed for the exhibit? Can they leave 30 second pitch videos on why they are the best to represent their age?

What are the best AR tools available? And how do you push their capabilities? 

Optimal Visual Display

Founder and Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, Professor William Uricchio offered this general assessment of where AR visual display technology is today and its promise, “As far as I’m concerned, visual display is the missing link, the thing standing between augmentation and success. If we can solve it with non obtrusive glasses, the sector will explode.”  

Phones screens have a vertical aspect ratio that is approximately the same aspect ratio as the Infinite Corridor. 

As we work towards the future of optimized AR visual displays, what makes a display optimal?

Previsualization Sketches

These sketches were made by compositing images from MIT and the portraits. The installation process will determine the actual layout of this virtual exhibition. 

Audio Design

None. Ideas are welcome.  The ambiance of the hallway is a worthy soundtrack. Nonetheless, how might the audio be augmented?

 

MIT Community

The flow of people in the Infinite Corridor varies greatly and is predictable. When classes change over on weekdays during the school year, the traffic is the heaviest. Otherwise traffic is much lighter. The second floor is always much lighter traffic than the first floor.

The exhibit must enhance and not disrupt daily life in the Infinite Corridor at MIT.

End

The exhibit will end on the 2nd floor balcony in the Atrium where the exhibit started.

Look up to the ages spiraling into the light. This large balcony wraps around 3 sides of the Atrium and is a good place to contemplate the infinite.

The 1 to Infinity AR Exhibition in the MIT Infinite Corridor is being developed in the MIT Open Documentary Lab’s AR + Public Space working group.