Laura E. Greene, Hung Quoc Le
Abstract: Walking on Ohlone Land (Walking) is a location-based, mobile Augmented Reality (AR) application installed on a smartphone or tablet. A device programmed with target-image AR functionality uses Computer Vision (CV) to identify existing images and objects and overlay new imagery, audio video content (A/V) and 3D models on a user’s screen. This project uses AR and leverages imagery throughout the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, California to communicate the underrepresented Indigenous history of that place. To ensure the efficacy of the content, a strategy called Digital Allyship (DA) was formulated. This framework consists of independent research, working with stakeholders and using a suite of technologies to amplify stakeholder’s messages to predominantly uninformed users. A combination of the Unity Game Engine, the Vuforia AR SDK and Adobe Creative Suite along with programming languages like C# and Xcode comprise this Mixed Reality (MX), multimedia experience. Using a series of in-studio and site-specific user tests, a mobile application was iterated over 16 weeks. Finally, the application was made publically available in both the Google Play Store and through social meet-ups. Walking on Ohlone Land was successful in reaching groups familiar with emerging technology, but not necessarily the painful stories that characterize the space for stakeholders. Through DA, designers and technologists become the intermediary between these two communities using both the process and the resulting technics as the conduit. In our case, we wanted to use this strategy to amplify a specific message: that here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are all walking on Ohlone Land, but DA, like the technology used is infinitely programmable and has potential applications using whole new histories or individual stories.
Keywords: Augmented Reality, Ohlone People, Emeryville Shellmound, Digital Allyship, Mobile AR, San Francisco Bay Area
Laura Greene is a Visual Artist and Interaction Designer with a background in fine art and videography. She is passionate about sustainable practices and working across disciplines to serve communities. She plans to pursue a career in User Experience Design here in the Bay Area.
Hung Q. Le is an innovative creative technologist with a background in Traditional Fine Arts. He was born in Vietnam and his cross-cultural experiences directly influence his design work. His work focuses heavily on design education and Augmented Reality. He believes that IXD has the power to educate and mold how we think about and see the world.