January 2, 2018

Congrestival 2017: Part One

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28.12.2017, by Johanna Klemm

Leisure in the Hands of New Technology

The Creative Lab has had the pleasure of holding a session for first year leisure students at the Congrestival 2017, at the BUas Academy for Leisure last year. A couple of interesting projects, which had been experimented with by The Creative Lab and several LabPartners, were presented and explained, and the ‘leisure activities under the stress of new technology and forced innovation’ were discussed. One of the most recent ones has of course been The Dancer Awakens, the first ever holographic-animation short film for the Hololens (by Microsoft), which was showcased at the Go Short Film Festival in Nijmegen, in 2017. Looking back to the interview with artist Regina de Jong, who performed for this project, another question had to be raised at the Congrestival: How will leisure itself handle the latest technology that offers so many possibilities for progress? Do innovations such as the HoloLens actually receive any positive response, as far as this specific market is concerned?

The Dancer Awakens – an Example of Technology’s Progress

Experiencing The Dancer Awakens through the HoloLens did indeed leave people stunned and excited. In addition, however, it also came as no surprise to The Creative Lab, that the response to the film was yet another proof of the fact that most of the audience needs to get used to the idea of such a step forward. Out of 130 people who had watched The Dancer Awakens, a staggering number of 120 experienced the entertainment part of the film to the fullest, yet actually lacked the understanding of the narrative because of it. Surprising? Not really. However, this is a reason to argue that any innovation, such as a potential HoloLens experience within the field of leisure, would most likely show the exact same results: progress requires baby steps and people’s habits are not to be underestimated.

Where will Technology lead Leisure in the Future?

The experience of The Dancer Awakens has been a great start, but for new technology, such as the HoloLens, being part of leisure, it certainly appears too new for people to fully grasp the entire package. Of course, The Creative Lab is positive that there is a target audience waiting to be surprised and excited to understand more than just the experience itself. Sceptics and high expectations make for better progress in the end, and so does the vision of people who keep developing any market with the helping hand of modern technology. A self driving car? Nothing far fetched at all! Diving to learn about our oceans through Virtual Reality? Look no further than at the latest VR adventure from Curiscope and HTC, ‘Operation Apex’, which The Creative Lab talked about on social media last month!

The possibilities are endless, and the leisure market might be in for some challenges, but with that, some amazing surprises as well. The obstacles we face might just be overcome by the ones who hold such progress in their hands: our young leisure students at the Congrestival.

If you would like to continue reading about what the first year BUas Academy for Leisure students at the Congrestival 2017 had to say about the future of leisure activities under the stress of new technology and forced innovation, be sure to check out the article Congrestival 2017: Part Two


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