Charuvi Design Labs

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Divine Response ‚Äď II : An Augmented Reality Installation

Studying the relationship between space and rituals associated with the religious-cultural artifact Hanuman Chalisa. The concept of deity responding to the devotee in a manner that it can be sensed by the devotee was created. Augmented Reality used to create the artifacts which convey the response of the Deity.

Installation 2: Divine Response 2

Studying the behavior of the devotees, we realized that people touched the tail very affectionately. The touching of the tail seemed quite an opportunity for placing an interaction. It becomes magical in its moment and makes the devotee awestruck. Thus simply it becomes an interaction in which as devotee touches the tail, God speaks to them. As there is no physical evidence of any switch just the touch at the spot where generally all devotees touch, it will augment their reality with aural sensation. In this installation as technology becomes invisible at all such levels, from a perceptual and cognitive point of view, interaction becomes completely natural and spontaneous. It is a kind of magic. One of the Characteristics of a natural interface is thus the reduction of cognitive load on people interacting with it. 

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Divine Response 2

 

Technology:

Augmented Reality: AR supplements the real world with virtual (computer-generated) objects that appear to coexist in the same space as the real world.  Augmented Reality (AR) is a variation of Virtual Environments (VE), or Virtual Reality as it is more commonly called. VE technologies completely immerse a user inside a synthetic environment. While immersed, the user cannot see the real world around him. In contrast, AR allows the user to see the real world, with virtual objects superimposed upon or composited with the real world. Therefore, AR supplements reality, rather than completely replacing it. Ideally, it would appear to the user that the virtual and real objects coexisted in the same space.

Divine Response ‚Äď I : An Augmented Reality Installation

Religion is a human project to formulate stable and meaningful dimension behind the accidental, chaotic and shifting realities of human existence. The religious-cultural artifact Hanuman Chalisa is yet another hope to cope up with the stress of existence. Its teaching gives hope and makes us aware and conscious about ourselves. Studying the relationship between space and rituals associated with it, the concept of deity responding to the devotee in a manner that it can be sensed by the devotee was created. The new media tool Augmented Reality was used to create these artifacts which convey the response of the Deity.

 

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Space:
Space is very important component when one sets out to design an interactive installation. It sets basic behavior and interaction. Every space has its purpose and meaning, the nature of it makes certain activities and behavior possible and confines certain other.

  

Installation 1: Divine Response 1

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This concept revolves around the behavior of tourist and devotees in reaction to the size of the idol. It is common to see people striking poses and playing with the scale of the architecture/sculpture.

After establishing the idea of utilizing the scale of the idol, the meaning of temple and rituals study that was done earlier was applied to generate a meaningful interpretation of the subject at hand. It is said that every shrine is associated with its power and good vibration. When one comes to the place of worship after having prayed, the mental onus is relieved and one feels blessed. It is at this moment one feels truly blessed. The suffering is transformed in to hope and happiness lightens the mood. Blessing is thus to make one happy and to drive the seeker towards the ultimate happiness and consciousness of the soul. The spiritual bliss and the ultimate happiness in Hinduism is of becoming aware and conscious about self and universe thus seeking the union between inner and outer world and attaining nirvana which is free from all suffering. This is achieved when kundalini is awakened which is marked by the chakras.

It is a metaphor for world realization, self-realization and truth realization. It symbolizes Sat- Chita- Ananda.

Technology:

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Augmented Reality: AR supplements the real world with virtual (computer-generated) objects that appear to coexist in the same space as the real world.  Augmented Reality (AR) is a variation of Virtual Environments (VE), or Virtual Reality as it is more commonly called. VE technologies completely immerse a user inside a synthetic environment. While immersed, the user cannot see the real world around him. In contrast, AR allows the user to see the real world, with virtual objects superimposed upon or composited with the real world. Therefore, AR supplements reality, rather than completely replacing it. Ideally, it would appear to the user that the virtual and real objects coexisted in the same space.

Scope of Shri Hanuman Chalisa Interactive app for iPad and Android tablets

Availability of the Hanuman Chalisa:

In devotional songs Hanuman Chalisa is very famous. Classically it was famous in media like books, cassettes, CDs , YouTube and now in application format as digital book. In YouTube 6340 search results can be found with viewership of 5 lakhs and above. The digital books which are available in android and itunes have text and audio. In iTunes 13 applications can be found and in android 131.

Why should this app be made?

Though Hanuman Chalisa is widely read and recited very few people know about its meaning and stories associated with it. This application is a novel way of educating meaning of Hanuman Chalisa, mythology storytelling, propagates spirituality in playful non obtrusive manner.

For whom is this app?

The target audience includes Indians, NRI’s as well as international users. It also intends to cater wide age groups from 5 years and above. The younger age group will need assistance from the parents. Not all features will make sense for all age groups for example the faith beads will not be of much significance for a kid who enjoys just playing with the app.

Considerations:

As the application is targeted for international market, the quality of graphics and user experience has to be at par with the applications produced internationally. Some of the design decisions also reflect this, for example the text of Hanuman Chalisa verses and its explanation is offered in English which can be toggled to Hindi. Many of the icons are so selected that they are widely accepted. From many translations available Chinmaya Mission’s translation of Hanuman Chalisa is followed as it is widely accepted. It also provides pronunciation key.

What this app is and not?

This app is celebration of Indian mythology, spirituality and new medium of expression. It does not have any religious or political agendas. It merely expresses 400 years old composition in new medium. It does not want to hurt any religious or social sentiments. All the visuals are interpretation of the artist, Charuvi Agrawal, and thus do not claim that it is the sole way of interpreting hanuman Chalisa. This is also reflected by providing a platform for letting people express their own interpretation.

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