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Toward An Augmented Future: Mapping The Promises, Contestations, And Socio-Technical Futures Pushing An Emerging Technology
Liao, Chung Li
This dissertation is an empirical examination of a group of people working on a set of technologies referred to as 'augmented reality' (AR). The dissertation examines who the stakeholder groups are, how they are conceptualizing and pushing the technology, and the future uses and applications they are advancing in order to build coalitions and make the technology a reality. Through participant observation, in-depth interviews, and document analysis, this work has followed the AR community for several years. The dissertation reports on five major areas of contestation: the first is a debate over the form that a commercial AR device should take, whether it is mobile or headworn. The second is the debate over what AR is, and the ways that the definitional debate helps understand the community itself and the tensions within it. The third is the relationship between a particularly strong stakeholder group, marketing and advertising, and the ways that other actors are adjusting and reacting to their influence. The fourth is a contestation over standards in this industry, and how certain groups are negotiating the standards that will enable certain uses of AR. The last debate is over the industrial AR space, as certain groups have been advocating a turn away from consumer AR to more industrial applications, and some of the implications for that move. This research is aimed at expanding our theoretical understanding of AR and the social, political, economic, and discursive dimensions surrounding its development, and what they tells us about how emerging technologies are formed. The ways actors are envisioning technological innovation and development is contested through the structure of the community, who gets to be a part of the community, and the types of work that is valued within the community, all of which ultimately shapes the development and trajectory of the technology.
Augmented Reality; Futures; Emerging Technologies
Gillespie, Tarleton L.
Hilgartner, Stephen H.; Niederdeppe, Lee H.; Jackson, Steven J.
Ph.D. of Communication
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis