Paradoc is an interactive Augmented Reality experience and was located at the Campus Finkenau of HAW Hamburg for a limited time. It examines the potential of AR interactions and tries to introduce functions to users in a playful way.
The digital components were built with Unity and Vuforia.
In cooperation with Marlena Reinke, Cecilia Pohl & Lydia Niekrawiec.
Inspired by escape rooms, a game where players need to solve puzzles or break free from a room, a real room was built for Paradoc. The escape room concept was enhanced by adding a digital layer of Augmented Reality, which allows the users to explore and interact with the room on both, the digital and real layer.
In Paradoc 1-3 users are being thrown into the roles of doctors of the Finkenau maternity clinic in the 70s, a real establishment that existed on site from 1911 to 2000. In the room that is modelled after a head physician’s office, the users need to solve several puzzles in a time limit to uncover the hidden mystery. The users are provided with white coats and a prepared smartphone.
Most AR applications are games and are largely directed at a younger target group. Furthermore the AR components are usually very simple and only have a single function that doesn’t always contribute to the interaction or the augmented perception of the user. More sophisticated AR applications can be found in professional fields but are not accessible to a wider audience. To fix these flaws, Paradoc uses a fixed installation, that allows users to try out different AR interactions without any prior knowledge or preparation.
Since the targets and light conditions in the Paradoc room are always steady, inexperienced users don’t get discouraged as easily as with AR applications they try at home, where they might encounter unpredictable conditions.
Paradoc explores the interaction between digital and real spaces to make full use of the technology and to find new and creative ways to use AR.
Physical interactions such as a prompt to flip through books, find specific spots on a globe or search cabinets for an AR target were called for. On the digital layer users can interact with buttons and turning mechanisms, step on a digital switch under a real carpet or follow a digital string that runs through the whole room. It uses image, video and sound to let users discover digital and physical AR interactions in the approximately 10 minute session.
Paradoc was exhibited on HAW Finkenau’s Rundgang 2019 and opened up for the public. In just three days it managed to attract, regardless of their technical knowledge, all kinds of people from drastically different age groups and introduced them to different AR interactions.
Paradoc was honored with the Jugendpreis of the Verdiek Stiftung on HAW Hamburg’s Interaction Day 2019.