When we started arki in 2013, the vision was predominantly centred on creating a platform in which people could upload their architectural models, and view these in real-time, easily using Augmented Reality technology. The capacity to create a platform in which people could easily upload data is yet one we aspire to create, although we must clearly overcome certain limitations to do this idea justice. We are asked continually why we have not yet created such a platform, and therefore, I wanted to take some time and reflect on some technical complications we must overcome inorder to create an open platform for architectural AR visualisation.
When we started theorising about ARki back in in 2010, we imaged a parallel dimension of architecture and environments that ran along our physical reality, and seamlessly merged with our surroundings. In this reality, architects could easily superimpose their designs within their physical sites, visualise digital models on table tops, and experience walking through their designs in real time, without having to create physical prototype or models. Initially the AR technology available didn’t allow us to freely create these experiences without the use of 2d image trackers, such as site plans etc, to augment these digital models within the real-world. Moreover the ability to create large scale architectural propositions in AR was always limited to the use of industrial scale printed markers as trigger images to kickstart the augmentation.
In the search for greater augmented realities, what we forget is the downfalls of this technology, and how it impacts our psyche from a psychological level. To immerse whole heartedly within our digital experiences without an understanding of how it is impacting us socially, and environmentally, is essentially negligence on our part. We must bring into attention the downfalls of AR, as much as praise its technologically capacity.
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