CYBORG DATING

EXPERIENCE VIRTUAL REALITY IN PUBLIC SPACE

NOTICE: Cyborg Dating was the result of an extended hackathon and a minimalistic budget, so we're sorry for possible glitches and issues. A refined version will be launched whenever there is a next opportunity to work on it.



Cyborg Dating is an outdoor virtual reality experience for two people. Participants walk around in public space as a couple. At specific GPS-based hotspots, interactions occur and the date progresses to more romantic levels.

The Cyborg Dating game was launched in oktober 2014 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Interaction hotspots were positioned throughout the city centre. At this moment, the project is awaiting its' next fixed location. Some finetuning is needed to position the GPS hotspots at the right locations that are physically accessible.

For the time being, the project can be experienced in 'freestyle' modus. There are not as many interactions as usual, because it will lack hotspots and target destinations. But you can experience a relaxing (or even romantic) walk through the virtual forest. If you find a partner, that is. Because that's a nessecity to be able to experience VR in public space. And more than a nessesity, it's also the key aspect of why this project is innovative in its attempt to create a bridge between a new dimension and our present day-to-day reality.

Enjoy your walk! (Or stay and home and watch it on youtube)




WHAT YOU NEED:

Cyborg Dating is an experience for two people. Both of you need a smartphone. One smartphone needs to be a hi-end Android phone with a big screen and GPS and gyroscope features. This phone should be inserted into a
Google Cardboard. The other phone can be a regular less powerfull phone, as it will only be used by the guide to recieve textual instructions during the date.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

You will be going on a date which will unfold while you make a small walk. If you're the one wearing the Google Cardboard, you'll be entering a virtual forest. You can walk to move through the forest. Your guide helps you to avoid obstacles in the physical space. The software uses the GPS signal for positioning, so it only works outdoors.

HOW IT WORKS:

Cyborg Dating is available as web-app. Both of you browse to this website. If you clicks the phone (left), you become the guide. If you click the cardboard icon (right), you become the cyborg. You need Google Chrome to access the Google Cardboard virtual reality.

HOW TO START:

The first step is to connect. After choosing your device, the cyborg device shows a number. The guide should enter this number in the text-field on his/her phone. After this is done, you both press start.


CHOOSE YOUR ROLE/DEVICE:


The real-time connection between the environment of the VR participant and the smartphone in the hands of the 'reality' participant is in use for scripted interactions and some gameplay. Both players see suggestions on what to say to each other, and as the date progresses additional functions appear on the smartphone of the guide which is a 'remote control' for the virtual environment. Interaction-hotspots include a virtual rose that can being given by the VR person to the 'real' person, and with the press of a button, the 'guide' can activate a romantic night sky in the virtual forest. Moments later, both participants see the 'hold hands' button. And all is set for the final challenge: how to kiss a person wearing a clumsy Google Cardboard device?

(But as said, this is only applicable when the date happens at a location where a number of GPS-based hotspots are defined)




Sander Veenhof and Rosa Frabsnap [c] OutdoorVR