The number of headlines — and Facebook memes — about Pokémon Go suggest that the game has reached craze status, but could it be more than just a fad? As one of the first augmented reality applications to make it to the mainstream, Pokémon Go may mean more for the virtual and augmented reality industries than a bunch of people wandering around the park trying to find Pikachus. It could be the birth of a brand new industry.
To help us look at the game craze in context, as well as offer some predictions about the future of Pokémon Go, AR, and VR, we brought in S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, to offer his insights on this now global phenomenon.
Matt Swayne: What’s the difference between augmented reality — AR — and virtual reality — VR?
S. Shyam Sundar: The difference lies in the degree to which they incorporate the real world. In VR, the entire environment is artificially created, while in AR, artificial elements are superimposed on the real world, creating a mixed reality. In VR, the user enters a virtual world whereas in AR, objects from the virtual world enter the real world.
Continue reading Is reality getting really augmented?
If there was ever an example of the viral nature of social media, it’s the creation of Facebook. The social media site went from a site for Harvard students to a global phenomenon.
The slickness and simplicity of the site, along with the ability to share pictures and updates with their friends from around campus — and around the world — have all been mentioned as reasons for using the social media site.
Now, according to work done by Penn State researchers, those same interface features and social media bonding experiences are prompting older adults to join the site.
Oh. And there’s one more reason: the lure of grandchildren…
Our researchers, Eun Hwa Jung, a doctoral candidate in mass communications and S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, explain that lure and more. Continue reading The lure of grandkids draws seniors to social media
S. Shyam Sundar is Distinguished Professor and founding director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in Penn State’s College of Communications. His research investigates the social and psychological impacts of human interaction with the websites and social media.
More recently, Sundar has turned his attention to the emerging complexities of the human-robotic relationship. He and his graduate students are exploring questions about what people really want from robots, and what they fear the most about them. When it comes to cozying up to robots in our homes and lives, what makes us comfortable? And what gives us the creeps? Tune in and find out. Please email series producer Melissa Beattie-Moss at email@example.com with ideas, comments and questions.