Ongoing Research
Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
Artifacts as Media, Spring 2022
Instructor: Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo Lopez
Collaborators: Vishal Vaidhyanathan, Ibrahim Ibrahim
Years after the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, remote work and hybrid communications have very much become the norm due to necessity and efficiency. With group video-based communication, only one speaker may be heard at any given time. What if we could converse with one another beyond the zoom grid that we are confined in? What if we could direct and exchange whispers in a lecture merely through eye gaze? This project posits that to go beyond current modes of group digital communication, where only one-to-many speaker-audience relationship may exist, spatialized communication is needed. 
Interverse is a communication platform that seeks to provide equitable presence in a hybrid setting, as well as to increase group engagement through real-time environment mirroring, metahuman puppeteering, and a series of specialized interactions that draws on the affordances of the virtual. The curated interactions interrogate the relationships between user-to-user, as well as user-to-space in both the real, virtual and the linked hybrid. 
The project sets itself apart from the ambiguous metaverse, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) by providing accessibility to an immersive experience without additional hardware or software installation. Interverse runs on a dynamic server, enabling multi-agent users while utilizing web-based machine learning tools for pose, face and gaze tracking. This enables the platform to be accessible with any personal computing device and its default webcam. 
Interactions based on engagement
user-spatial: virtual proxemics