KnitworkVR is an immersive virtual experience designed to simulate the Living Knitwork Pavilion showcased at Burning Man, through the use of realistic 3D models set within a desert landscape. This system leverages a distributed network of e-field sensors embedded within the fabric structures and VR positioning to create a dynamic, interactive environment. By connecting real-time sensor data with Unity, the platform is able to generate responsive animations, control lighting effects, and modify the sonic landscape in real-time, illustrating the principles of co-presence and telepresence within immersive environments.
The core of KnitworkVR's technology lies in its physical-digital distributed sensor network, which captures a wide array of inputs including individual and collective movements, interactions, and spatial positioning within the pavilion. This spatiotemporal sensor data is processed and visualized through various animations such as the glow of fabric patterns, representations of 'digital souls' as orbs, firefly behaviors, and the simulated intensity of sandstorms, as well as sonified through AI-generated audio environments that will take visitors into a story-telling journey of Living Knitwork fabric patterns, all rendered within the Unity engine. Correspondingly, the system's integration with HTC Vive base trackers for real-time spatialization allows users within the VR environment to observe and interact with visitors in the physical pavilion. The interaction facilitates collaborative 360' soundscape generation and robotic lighting controls, further blurring the lines between physical and digital presence, and showcasing the potential of telepresence technology in creating deeply connected and engaging dual reality experiences.
The KnitworkVR experience will be premiered in March 2024 at SXSW in Austin, Texas.