Day 2 – 31st July

On day 2 we met at the minibus and then travelled to Jupiter Artland.

Once we had got our maps we were split into teams with people who had been to Jupiter Artland before or had previous knowledge of the 360 degree videos that Tom has made. From this split we were put into pairs. We were given a brief for the day of:

“Design an experience at Jupiter Artland that incorporates the digital without taking away from the physical experience. “

Tom then gave us a tour of the woodland area. He gave us insight into each piece. Even though there was already information on the provided maps, most of our group liked the increased amount of detail as to the artists ideas and thoughts that went into creating their particular piece.


Having done the tour it was time for lunch. We sat in a woodland area that allowed us to talk more as well as discussing any initial ideas with our partner.

We then split off into pairs. The idea was to explore more of the site to allow us to come up with more ideas.


We needed to come up with the basic premise of what our idea was in enough detail that we could describe it to the rest of the group.

So when we regrouped we went round and discussed our ideas and said if we felt that there were any weaknesses that the creators may not have come up with.

We were invited by David Benyon’s wife, Linda, to come to her house and have a BBQ there. So when we were on our way back to Edinburgh we stopped off in Sainsbury’s to get food.


We had a good time at Linda’s and it allowed us all to get closer as a group as there was time to talk about things other than the project.

Day 1 – 30th July

On day one we met up with the students from Farmingdale State College New York. We were given a brief introduction to the project. We travelled by minibus to The Kelpies near Stirling to allow the visiting students to see the landmark. We ate our lunch there which meant that we had a bit of time to explore and gave us time to get to know each other.


We then travelled up to Stirling to the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Having arrived a bit early we had the opportunity to try on some replica uniforms and hold replica weapons. This gave us insight into how heavy the armour was as well as allowing us to explore how the shields felt and how little protection they would have offered. We then went on the interactive tour. This began with two short videos each from the differing perspectives of the Scottish and the English. This helps to give you insight into the battle. The videos were in 3D and we were encouraged to stand as close to the screen as possible to allow the 3D to create more of an impact to the viewer.



We then moved onto a room that explained what happened in the battle. There was an interesting way of interacting with the video. You were encouraged to “catch” arrows that were being shot by the virtual people. This offered an incentive reward of a free ice-cream from the cafe. After this video we were able to explore the rest of the room. There were interactive videos along the sides of the room that allowed you to find out more information on some of the people who fought in the battle as well as some normal people from each nation. These were activated by standing on a “plate” on the floor which would cause the video to respond to your presence. You chose from bits of dialogue by using a motion sensor detecting arm movements.  




 We then moved into the “Battle Room” which allowed us to see a holographic representation of the battle on a board that had been crafted into a map. This showed the scale of the area in which the battle covered as well as the strategies each side used. We were then able to fight the battle to see if we could reverse the fortunes of the battle. We were split into the Scottish and the English with the English having many more people, as it was in the actual battle. We had to take turns to move each regiment our respective sides into position. These positions were controlled by the main computer-like machine that the guide was using. The Scottish army found that it was rather difficult to navigate and therefore made some bad calls meaning that the English won our version of the battle.



There was another video similar to the introduction to give a brief insight into what life was like after the battle and how the battle changed the monarchy in both Scotland and England.

We saw the monument to commemorate as well as the statue of Robert the Bruce on his horse.

We travelled back to Edinburgh ‘the scenic route’ so that the US students could see the bridges. This however was a bit futile as they has all fallen asleep because jet lag had begun to kick in.

FSC Awarded $400K by LI Regional Economic Development Council

Farmingdale Sate College has been awarded $400,000 by the 2017 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), as a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s transformative approach to state investment and economic development. The “Emerging Technologies in Undergraduate Education at Farmingdale State College” grant includes the renovation of Whitman Hall, web streaming technology, and the acquisition of virtual reality / augmented reality – a.k.a. mixed reality – equipment.

The grant was the second largest given to a public college on Long Island. Congratulations to the team that applied to this competition: Brian O’Keefe, Kenneth Tax and Dawn Grzan.

This award marks the second REDC grant secured by Professor O’Keefe of the Visual live streamingCommunications/Interaction Design program. In 2013, Professor O’Keefe was the primary investigator for the “Mobile Experiences for Tourism” REDC grant. This grant designed and developed a mobile application that geo-curated digital augmented reality characters to historical locations through educational 19th century storytelling. The evaluated results predicted an augmented reality interaction model used by the hit Pokemon Go App, three years later.

Professor O’Keefe will be working closely with Kenneth Tax in the School of Business to experiment with and test virtual reality technologies such as Oculus Rift (Facebook), HoloLens (Microsoft), and iMotion. The funding will also help answer questions like “how does mixed reality impact the learning objectives of tomorrow’s classroom?”, “how do we prepare students when AR/VR technologies enter the workplace?”, and “how do interaction designers design new mixed realty experiences that solve human problems?”

Dawn Grzan, Director of Research and Sponsored Program Development, said of the grant: “This funding will help Farmingdale provide immersive learning, which is the next step in the evolution of interactive learning, by integrating virtual/mixed reality technology into the classroom.”

Will Augmented and Virtual Reality Replace Textbooks?


This past year, Tulsa TV-2, an NBC News affiliate, did a great story on the transition in education through the eyes of professors and students who are using augmented and virtual reality. As you watch the news report you will notice the following:
  • Professors will quickly embrace technology that directly impacts student success.
  • Students are more engaged and learn quicker through visual stimulation.
  • Grades can be immediately improved with augmented and virtual reality.
  • An international and global reach is possible with stimulating technology.

Full Story

Campus Times: Interaction Design Students Visit Scottish Colleagues

“Assistant Professor Brian O’Keefe and five Visual Communications students specializing in Interaction Design went to Edinburgh, Scotland this past summer to participate in an intensive five-day “Blended Spaces” workshop at Edinburgh Napier University.

The students – Julius Capio, Jean Chang, Zohal Azimi, Kim Gentry and Genevieve Quiban – also attended the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, where they rubbed elbows with Interaction Design researchers, practitioners and academics. Professor O’Keefe chaired the workshops….” Read Full Story