Christian is passionate about the opportunities that new Augmented Reality Technologies can bring to learning. He is especially interested in the domain of second language learning. Some of his previous research involves co-developing an English as second language learning system that enables situated learning by allowing a remote peer to annotate images streamed from a head-mounted display or phone. The remote companion can essentially “subtitle” the learner’s environment, allowing them to highlight new vocabulary and enable real-time contextually rich supplements to offline curricula. This remote peer or teacher can also provide real-time visual/audio feedback to engage in exchanges that are relevant to the learner's environment. For instance, when interacting with a store clerk, the learner can ask the teacher things like “How do I say do you have any <...> today?” Currently, Christian is using state-of-the art AR devices (e.g. Hololens) to enable mixed reality experiences that can create similar scenarios without the need for a remote teacher that is connected throughout the whole learning session. Using computer vision and the spatial understanding capabilities of these devices, relevant vocabulary can now be presented on the scene facing the user, linked to additional visual and auditory content that hints at how this word can be used in the current context.

Vazquez, Christian David, et al. "Serendipitous Language Learning in Mixed Reality." Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2017.   [Link]