RISAR Prototype

Making sea level rise more tangible through AR, 2020

The humanisation of data is a territory we’ve been exploring for the past five years as a tool for delivering better, more informed decisions in a variety of different contexts.

We recently had the chance to present our approaches to Data Humanisation at the 2020 Design Indaba. One of them was RISAR – an augmented reality visualisation app prototype that personalises the effects of climate change to question our thoughts and actions concerning the climate crisis. Details of the presentation are available on Takram Stories.

Data Humanisation in Action

RISAR asks you a set of questions about your day-to-day activities, and you answer them with a simple, almost Tinder-like interaction between different options (e.g. food choice, travel option etc.) The virtual water level rises or falls, depending on your answer. We believe RISAR has the potential to become a powerful experience that shows how individual lifestyle choices can cause a massive, collective impact on the world.

"There is so much data available concerning climate change and sea level rising. We also roughly know how different aspects of our life accelerate this global crisis. And yet, we struggle to put this understanding into action. What if we can evaluate the different decisions and actions we make every day, and see the impact that they might have on environments around us?"
– Yosuke Ushigome (Takram) from Design Indaba

To demonstrate how immersive data experience (e.g. AR, VR, etc.) can facilitate a better understanding of issues like climate change, we tested out RISAR in front of a live audience. We gave everyone a ping-pong bat, coloured red on one side and yellow on the other, to use in response to the questions displayed on the presentation screen. Fortunately for the Indaba audience, their answers resulted in them escaping from a mass AR drowning!

Prototyping in progress

We've continued working on the project, taking advantage of LiDAR scanners, which are now becoming available on new devices, and developing RISAR further by adding live meshing so that any room or space can be a venue for the experience.

We're currently exploring ways to use this mechanic to address other global issues. Our aim is to easily allow schools, offices, and institutions to also run the exercise.

Please help us spread the message or get in touch if you think RISAR could be useful for you or your organisation.

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