• Anna Oh

AR_Storytelling #3) Spatial Olympic news curation platform

Updated: Apr 22

Since I became more interested in various ways of AR visualzing technologies, I found great oppurtunities from New York times that I can more lesearch it. I set the team with talented ITP people who are experts of volumetic capture & 3D modeling. The theme was how spatial computing can affect olympic or 2020 election. This is our proposal for 'Spatial Olympic news platform'

  • The goal of product

Our team is interested in creating a tool for creating spatial data visualization using Augmented Reality (AR) with the focus on the Olympics. We are interested in creating a platform on which users can filter through the data (here, by data, we mean numbers as well as images and video) with primary focus on the nationality of the teams and the sports that they are interested in following.

The Olympics is one of the events during which people get excited to follow along with the sporting events and data about their national teams. Through research of coverage of the Olympics in the previous years, we found that the amount of data and the representations of the said data can be a little overwhelming for the readers to filter through by themselves. We aim for our platform to make the curation of data easier as well as adding in the feature of representing these data spatially in Augmented Reality.

The main feature of the platform is the 3D scan of the Olympic stadiums that the users can zoom in and out of as well as move around within to get a feel of the space that the exciting sports events are happening at. Users have the option to click on a specific location of the stadiums on which they can see videos, images and general data of events of past, present and future. With the filter mode by nationality and sports on, they can also choose to see data that only pertain to the selected categories.

We aim to take advantage of New York Times' spectacular photo journalism and 5G technology. We have been greatly inspired by already existing method of coverage of the Olympics of the New York Times such as The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/19/sports/olympics/olympics-frame-by-frame.html?searchResultPosition=10). These sort of coverages that provide detailed insights of highlighted movement of the events could also be rendered spatially for immersive viewing experience. For instance, users could see an athlete doing the high jump in real life scale, rendered with images similar to those that are captured for the Frame by Frame article. Spatial representation of images will also allow rendering  of the speed of movements of athletes as well. We are considering the use of depth cameras to capture videos of sports events to render in point clouds in three dimensional space in Augmented Reality.

These are only some of the features that we are thinking of including for the platform that we are envisioning. Please refer to the two attached links for the full details of the proposed platform.

We hope the the application provides use for other events that contain large amounts of realtime flow of data such as the upcoming US elections and the Met Gala event.

  • What application of spatial news would your team be interested in creating?

On top of the platform for immersive experiences of special time-specific events such as the Olympics, elections on the Met Gala, we are also interested in creating a tool for news makers to use to rapidly generate 3D scans of locations and events. The speed of delivery of news is critical for events such as the Olympics and the elections and in this line of thought, we would like to create a tool that allows easy capturing of three dimensional data, with the ability to pin point areas for linking labels and links to full feature articles. This tool will generate a webGL canvas element that could be embedded on a webpage. The purpose for developing this tool is to lower the time of production to create assets for spatial data representation in three dimensions for the web. This is also with the understanding that some features would required more detailed generation of high quality 3D assets, like that of Why Notre-Damn Was a Tinderbox (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/17/world/europe/notre-dame-cathedral-fire-spread.html) article. The creation of a tool that allow lower quality but extremely easy capture and generation of 3D graphics has the advantage of making these type of graphics more approachable for the general audience as well as attracting the generation-Z readers of the news.

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