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Where augmented reality helps dancers collaborate

Collaborating with dancers across the country is a timely and expensive venture for many small Canadian dance companies.

UNB’s own Daniel Rea, assistant professor in the faculty of computer science and co-director of UNB’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCI Lab), is working with Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada to create an augmented reality application that will change the way dancers collaborate across the country.

Where innovation reduces barriers and provides access to immersive tools

The all-New Brunswick team at the HCI Lab is developing an innovative new program, DanceXR. This program, which is funded by the Canada Council for Arts, will allow choreographers and artists across the country to have access to the immersive digital tools required to help develop their dance skills without requiring expensive long-distance travel.

The augmented reality application will convert choreography into transportable 3D content including life-size interactive holograms. It will reduce financial, infrastructural and accessibility barriers for dance organizations and artists across Canada and beyond.

Where new technologies provide opportunities for students to expand

Rea and his team provide opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to learn how to blend together both physical and virtual worlds. Students who work in the HCI Lab not only perform research in human-robot interaction, mixed reality, novel interactions and game design, but they also have the chance to work with other types of applications in health and therapy (e.g., rehab, training), and participation in collaborations for work and play.

“We are still in the beginning stages of developing this technology, but I am looking forward to building something that will help the arts community in New Brunswick grow and be recognized,” said Rea.