Sample image of the VR space.
LOVR
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
PROJECT OVERVIEW
LOVR is a speculative virtual reality designed ecosystem to respond to long-distant relationships that have faced struggles with the distance the COVID-19 pandemic has created. Our goal is to bridge the gap in a long-distance romantic relationship by providing shared spaces, experiences, and emotions. This system consists of a mobile interface, ambient lighting, and virtual reality to create a continuous experience between the various levels of connectivity throughout their time apart.
How might we establish emotional presence in a long distance relationship?
The emotional presence we want to achieve is to relay body language that conveys emotion in relationships. We want to be able to detect and relay facial expressions, vocal inflections, and body language. Using asynchronous communication and tangible, everyday details of life that would be shared when together.
Preview video of LOVR functionality.
RESEARCH
We collected data from a general survey to give us an insight on what are the main troubles that couples face while social distancing. Gathering insight on what seems to be the common factors they wish they can emulate or emphasize when their love languages are being challenged. This being a second project around the long-distance topic we have deduced that we cannot emulate anywhere near physical presence can offer to the table— but rather a way to use technology to support those factors at a distance.
We also had couples write in a week's time what they do in a day and what items or activities throughout the day they do that remind them of their significant other.

PARTICIPANT ETHNOGRAPHY
Interview + Artifact Analysis
AUTOETHNOGRAPHY
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
REFLECTION
How immersive technology has become, I wish I had the resources and time to dive into Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. If I had access to the programs to fully understand the mechanics and create realistic UI prototypes then a video mock-up to cement the idea. This ties into understanding physical design and the process to create at the moment tangible items for the ecosystem.
A snippet from our storyboard rationale, what the interaction would look like sharing a meal.
WHY VIRTUAL REALITY?
I only mentioned that the project was a virtual reality space, but didn't disclose why. As a group, we have thoroughly discussed the differences and benefits of each reality space. However, we ran into issues with lighting, spatial surroundings, and issues with creating an immersive space going with augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR). To put it into perspective, both AR/MR visually need the physical space to be present but given the parameters of a room where we see LOVR used, it's extremely tight. 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 for virtual spaces that feel extremely cartoon and animated. 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
PHYSICAL PRODUCT 
MOBILE INTERFACE
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