Made by lsimon
To provide an immersive nature experience for students hoping to escape the stress of studying.
Created: May 9th, 2016
We wanted to make relaxation as accessible as possible, and decided on nature as the medium to do so. CMU students are consistently pressed for time and may not have time to escape campus and take a break. To address this, we designed an immersive nature experience that could be installed directly into a room at the library. Creating a nearby, immersive experience increases the chances that students will relax within nature, albeit a virtual nature.
The Nature Room was inspired from an ambient display concept. The original concept involved using different components to persuade people to leave the library. It would display sunlight, wind, and rain levels and also include ambient noises. The goal was to inform students in such a way that they'd be inspired to leave the library and enjoy the described weather. We decided that students might not have time to leave the library, or they might not be persuaded enough by an ambient display to leave. Thus, we decided to bring the nature to the student instead of making the student go to nature.
We spent some time brainstorming ways to immerse the user in
We initially planned on incorporating 360 video into this project so that it would be truly immersive. We rented a Ricoh Theta S, shot 360 video out in nature, and flattened the video. Sadly, the video quality turned out poorly. We then scoured YouTube for the best professionally shot nature scenes we could find and used those instead.
We had planned on mixing our own audio for this project using soundboards. However, this would involve controlling the audio and video separately and would add an extra layerl of complication. Instead of doing this, we relied on the audio from the pre-recorded scenes we found on YouTube. With the eight speakers we used, this audio was more than enough for an immersive experience.
Ultimately, all elements came together to form a prototype version of the Nature Room. This was a prototype that was limited by time, location and other constraints. Looking forward, we'd hope to install a permanent version of Nature Room in one of the classrooms or study rooms within Hunt.