COPYRIGHT ©2017 XIAOMENG TANG, All RIGHTS RESERVED.

The VR Delivery

Demo of gaze tracking effect

Most of the items in this virtual world can detect the player’s gaze, once the experience started. It records down the correspondingly player watching time for each detected ad representatives on the back end and reserves as the database for real-time interaction.

Each player has 100 coins in the beginning, but the player will lose coins if they watch on the detected objects.

After 30 seconds playing time, the distracting item will be automatically loaded according to the back end ranking, in order to impede the player in the experience. 

 

When the interfering ads playing, no exploration or interaction allowed until it finishes. There are two rules about the interfering ads: 

1. the loading ads relevant to objects which the player paid more attention to in previous experience. 

2. the loading frequency is increasing with time passing

 

Setting of real-time interaction

Impeding object

Teleport effect

Game task

VR interactive demo

 

No matter the player finish the task first or lost all the coins in this visual space, the project will reveal the detailed watching time and how much coins spend on each ads representative, for revealing the outcome of data surveillance to users.

Playing outcome

Implementing Process

The employment of user interaction

The Diagram of VR Interactive Mechanism

Why VR -- Since I am making one project to simulate the sick reality now we are living in, VR is the perfect medium to create one experience to allow user immerse in. Besides, it is one simulation that the player diving in one exploitative world when the player wears the headset interacting with the virtual world, exactly as the project criticized - each player is living under the reality filled with endless and latent attention exploitation.

Why Gaze tracking -- Simulating the situation that the attention merchants have the ability to access netizens' online data no matter what we searched or what we saw online. It seems that the attention exploiters can achieve into individual's sight. Therefore, I use the gaze tracking to build the database for the following user interaction in this VR scene.

Why real-time interaction -- For collecting and analyzing user behavior and interaction first and give out the immediate feedbacks based on the previous data tracking. All of those for providing the player one scene that truly generates by and interacts with the player himself/herself.

User Testing

Testing the scene design

Testing the Storyboard

User testing feedback 

User 1: The game mechanic should be more simple since the design intention is elaborating the data surveillance and attention exploitation at this age. I paid most attention to complete the tasks instead of comprehending the experience narration.

 

User2: More operating instructions needed for user-friendly. VR still is a cutting-edge medium, it is not easy to convey complicated thoughts via the unfamiliar platform in the first try. Possessing beneficial guidance is critical for delivering the concept thought.

Storyboard

I drew the storyboard to clarify the experience narration and did the user testing to see if it is reasonable to deliver the concept. 

The schema of experiencing flow

Clarify the detailed workflow 

Implementing process

Concept Development

The Research

This is one image includes 36 posts which I clipped from my personal Facebook account. However, 9 out of 36 posts are sponsored advertisings, which means one-quarter of the Facebook contents are unattended information. 

I realized that every new medium - from Television to Internet companies has attained commercial viability and soon becomes very riches by turn themselves into an advertising platform. The attention merchants managed to reach us in previously unexploited times and places. Our attention is under the assault from commercial solicitation in virtually every waking moment. 

Domain map analysis

​Project Documentation

This virtual world tracks the position and duration of the player’s gaze and saves them into the database to render intrusive objects that impede the player’s progress. The interaction simulates the attention exploitation with the intrusion of advertisements from the real world. By manipulating familiar objects from daily life, this satirical experience aims to impel the player to reflect the exploitative reality they live in. 

Project interaction

Attention Harvest is a VR experience to critique the situation that all the social media and internet companies capture and resell their user’s attention to make profits. This project lays bare the true nature of a ubiquitous reality of the Internet world full of distracting adverting and disturbing information.

Work description

Contribution

The player’s behavior tracking and real-time rendering are for exposing the truth which of almost all platforms are accessing user’s online data and behavior to analyze their preference, in order to target them as various audience group to deliver ads in their offered service. Attention Harvest uses an interactive and immersive way to narrate and critique this true reality to its audience, to recall people to reflect the phenomenon of which individual’s cyber life under the control of the exploitative business model.

Attention Harvest

Live VR Interactive Experience

Exhibition at the NYC Media Lab Summit 

2017

  

Developed by Unity and Maya

Platform: HTC Vive & Steam VR

Programming: Unity C#

  

Thesis project made in MFA Design and Technology program at Parsons

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