Have You Heard of Surface Reality?
By Tammuz Dubnov
You’ve heard of augmented and virtual reality, but have you ever heard of surface reality? It’s the newest craze reinventing the entertainment status quo and its imprint tells us that it’s here to stay. Surface reality blends movement with immersive technology to produce an environment where physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real time. It differs from other forms of mixed reality in that the visual effects are displayed on a surface that works without any wearables. In effect, surface reality enhances one’s perception of reality and how one interacts with the world, whereas in contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.
A surface reality setup can take many forms. Most frequently you’ll see a configuration in a public space, where any passerby can meddle with the interactive setup during their daily commute. The WOW factor response that comes courtesy with any surface reality experience makes it an ideal entry piece for any building or event. For this reason, hospitals and corporate headquarters are starting to adopt surface reality screens for branded and engaging welcomes.
As implied in the name “surface-reality”, the technology can be projected onto any surface: screens, walls, counters, even floors. Surface reality technology is display agnostic and can be setup on a multitude of different configurations, this aspect makes it truly unique. The versatility is limited only to your imagination!
Surface reality is deeply embedded in software designed to conform to a variety of content styles. The nature of the technology allows you to position any image as a backdrop and conjoin it with animated effects. Although surface reality has made its debut most prominently in the entertainment industry, it has recently made its move into experiential branding. A company that markets their brand with surface reality allows those who interact with it to develop experience driven associations with their brand. Furthermore, the active engagement of surface reality has great potential in education. Using multiple leveled sensory inputs to reinforce concepts has proven to be a vital method in learning through experience.
Surface reality has expanded into a multitude of markets, meaning its influence as an industry powerhouse has only begun to touch the surface. The experiential element of surface reality has bid its entry into a nouveau style of virtual art unseen in previous generations. The responsive graphics and limitless design options give these artists the ability to do what simply can’t be achieved with paper and a paint brush. The effect of surface reality in the artistic sphere has driven its influence into the gaming and multimedia industries as well. The “touch and response” digital effects of surface reality have driven interest from the gaming community; in turn, developers have been compelled to reinvent conventional gaming to meet the appetite for innovation and experiences. Most prominently, surface reality has earned its name in the event entertainment market, where it serves a variety of functions ranging from concert backdrops, to interactive dance floors, to engaging branding experiences at conventions and conferences alike.
Have you run into surface reality in your day to day life? Where would you like to see surface reality?