Sample image of the VR space.
STATUS         Spring 2020 – 6 weeks
PROJECT       Virtual Reality Room Ecosystem
MY ROLE       User Research, UI Design, and Video Editing
TEAM             Amixa-Ray Calzado, Minhyung Jasper Kim, Ashmeet Saggu, & Clara Too
LOVR is a speculative virtual reality designed ecosystem to respond to long-distant relationships. For couples that may have faced struggles that COVID-19 had created. Our goal is to bridge the gap by providing shared spaces, experiences, and emotions. This system consists of a mobile interface, ambient lighting, and virtual reality. Creating a continuous experience between couples through connectivity throughout their time apart.
How might we establish an emotional presence in a long-distance relationship?
Preview video of LOVR functionality.
We collected a general survey on the troubles long-distant couples face. Analyze the common factors when their love languages are being challenged. This is my second project around long-distance. We cannot emulate anywhere near what physical presence brings. We rationalize if there is a way to use technology to support those factors at a distance.

Honing into the data we collected, we asked couples to keep a diary. In a week's time, write about their daily routine as detailed as remembered. When do they have the time and what do they think about. Unobtrusive question prompts to get a feel of their thoughts. But if it does come up, what are things that started these thoughts. Afterward, review these entries. We interviewed how these daily tasks and routines made them feel. If they thought about their significant other, what were those ideas and emotions.

Interview + Artifact Analysis
Written Diary​​​
A few artifacts were collected from our participants.
INSIGHTS   Long-distance couples desire
01. Shared virtual space and seamless interactions

02. Differentiation between breaks and continuous-time together

03. Physical presence of their partner
A snippet from our storyboard rationale, what the interaction would look like sharing a meal.
I only mentioned that the project was a virtual reality space, but didn't disclose why. As a group, we discussed the differences and benefits of each reality space. We ran into issues with surroundings and issues with creating an immersive space. Rationalizing with augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR). To put it into perspective, both AR/MR need the physical space to be present. But, given the parameters of a standard room where we see LOVR used is unnormal. Also, we didn't want your significant other to feel like a projection on a wall as pictured above. There's no way to get rid of a room wall to feel like the space is extended.
This is where virtual reality (VR) becomes a strong point. Instead of playing within the confined space, create your own. The only thing that falters with VR is the current visual content present. It is still a growing space, but what is currently available feels extremely cartoony. Some may feel a disconnection from that point forward.

We still persisted as this met our requirements: 
• Both significant others can participate and be present in
• It is a space both can edit and be on while the other is away
• It creates something personal
With how immersive technology has become, I wish I had the resources and time to dive into AR and VR. Between school and rapid projects, I never find it easy to dive into new things. A lot of ideas and expectations fall short with online learning. If I had easy access to the programs to learn and understand the mechanics. I would love to create realistic UI prototypes than a video mock-up to cement the idea. Of course, this boils down to experimenting and dividing the project for everyone to work on. This ties into understanding the physical design and responses of our project. To create at the moment tangible items for the ecosystem.
In hindsight, it is a great idea to explore in-depth down the line. I would like to see this developed for everyone outside of the space of romance or two people.

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