Spatial data, defined broadly, is any digital representation of real-world places and objects. In geosciences spatial data might represent features on a map; in medicine it could be a 3D scan of a bone; in humanities it might describe a liminal space of critique between the virtual and physical worlds; in theater it could be the captured motion of a performer. The Edges mini-conference explores how spatial data is created, analyzed, and expressed in cross-disciplinary research and teaching. Edges will be offered as a hybrid online/in-person event and is sponsored by the ITC Data Experiences and Visualizations Studio, a resource supporting greater access to the development of extended reality applications across research, and Dartmouth Research Computing.
This virtual conference, a sequel to the Beyond Zoom: XR for Teaching and Research in the COVID-19 Era, was run over Zoom as well as Mozilla Hubs, and Glue, both desktop VR apps that allow people to move around and talk in a shared 3D space. Our keynote speaker was Samantha Gorman, Assistant Professor at Northeastern CAMD Art+Design. We had 23 presentations over two days from Professors, Lecturers, Students, Fellows, Librarians, Project Coordinators, Research Scientists, and more, about the future promise and current reality of XR, particularly in response to changing world events like COVID, social polarization, and erosion of trust in scientific research and communication.
Founder and CEO of XRSI, Kavya Pearlman, has been outlining the potential issues with and the need for research required to help build safe and inclusive XR ecosystems. Kavya is currently helping develop a novel Privacy and Safety framework for XR and Spatial Computing domain with heavy focus on higher education and medical XR use cases. With the pandemic catalyzing and fueling the growth and adoption of these technologies, we need to pause and reflect – if we are going to extend realities via the immersive domain of XR, what kind of world will we wish to create?
This virtual conference was run over Zoom and Mozilla Hubs, a desktop VR app where many people can move around and talk in a shared 3D space. We had around 30 presentations from Professors, Teaching Designers, Researchers, Artists, and Data Scientists, all about using XR to further teaching and research, especially (but not only) in the era of COVID-19.
This symposium had 15 presentations from industry representatives, as well as Dartmouth researchers, professors, and students. We brought together all the different groups on campus doing work with AR and VR to be able to present their work and mingle, and check out some new hardware and software from Apple, Microsoft, and Magic Leap.