#TIL: Transmedia: A journey from Star Wars to our Mobility future
By Sayani Mandal
George Lucas’s uber-famous franchise, Star Wars Universe created a wave across platforms, from lightsaber-inspired door handles to Baby Yoda-shaped pancake machines! And then, there are all the games, books, comics, and even fanfiction, all unfurling newer storylines by spilling them over into different platforms and media. “Transmedia Storytelling” has driven this dynamic narrative engine of Star Wars, a central influence on the transmedia phenomenon we see today. With the rise of virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), transmedia has transcended into visualising the future of mobility for our cities.
A Ride in 2049 is a transmedia VR experience consisting of a documentary, a VR experience, and a 360-degree video variant on Youtube, where users can experience the year 2049 as a virtual tour of Frankfurt, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In the mobility future of drone-taxis and autonomous vehicles, this scientific study is a step to understand what commuters want. It allows us to shape the future of mobility based on how diverse cultures interact emotionally in various urban scenarios and allows us to build a future more tangible and citizen-centric.
The study also extends to analysing the specific behavioural drivers for future visions. The documentary, therefore, takes up the results of the study and gives it new dimensions for international mobility research. Just as architecture has moved from a 2D affair to a robust 3D XR (Extended Reality) experience, urban mobility can envision its future at the conjunction of transmedia narratives.