Fielding Graduate University News

Facing (Virtual) Reality at Media Summit 2016

Posted by Meghann Ryan on Thu, Mar 03, 2016



The future is now.

In fact, it's this week in Manhattan at the 12th annual Media Summit New York, where members of Fielding’s Media Psychology program gave a presentation Wednesday on augmented and virtual reality.

Above, author and PhD student Meghann Ryan spends time on a yacht via virtual reality goggles.

Attended by producers, software and hardware developers, network executives, press, and students, Media Summit New York 2016 is part of the Digital Hollywood trade conferences. Fielding is a sponsor of this year's event.


PhD students Matthew Price and Caryn Wiley-Rapoport joined faculty members Dr. Garry Hare, Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg, and Dr. Pamela Rutledge to present “The Psychology of Design and Audience Engagement: AR, VR and Real Time Media,” an analysis and outlook of augmented- and virtual-reality technologies and uses.

The presentation focused on keeping the audience engaged with the technology through personalized content. Dr. Rutledge discussed best practices for engaging the audience while Price shared his project designed to measure presence and determine the "realness" of the technology. Wiley-Rapoport emphasized the link between a brand’s story and a user’s personal story.


Dr. Hogg, above, and Dr. Hare demonstrated a project that they helped create which allows visitors to scan a name on The Vietnam Memorial Wall with a smart device (phone, tablet, etc). It then loads a video made by the veteran's family, featuring a short biography of the fallen soldier.

Fielding’s research is used to inform the designs of various technologies, many of which could be seen in the demonstration areas. Digital Hollywood participants were invited to use the interactive gadgets, televisions, cameras, and computers. For example, there was a demonstration of a 360-degree camera that can capture every angle in one photograph. 

An ongoing theme of the Media Summit is that we have an enormous amount of technology, but need better content and narratives. Without a good story, the technology cannot live up to its full potential. 


First-year PhD students Meghann Ryan, Jared Sinclair, and Naila Mattison-Jones head back to "reality" today for the Summit's wrap-up.

Tags: Media psychology