Empathy Bytes

2019 ~ Present | Georgia Tech Library, Interdisciplinary Media Arts Center, Institute of Museum and Library Services


Think outside traditional modes of communication and documentation to create radical experiences of empathy, an important component to success in personal and professional settings. This team focuses on building an immersive digital archive that includes 3D models, interviews, photographs, multimedia, and writings from diverse communities. This team is working with emerging technologies (XR), such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and mobile apps, which allow users to step into another person’s shoes. This can allow us to see the world through their eyes, or even to step back in time.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Students are encouraged to explore the many ways we share, intake and preserve information in a modern era, through many forms of media. We research how XR, video, audio, and web design can all be used to both develop technical skills and enrich creative storytelling. Creative methods of documenting (audio, photography, and video) are also encouraged in this research section, such as 360 photography, drone footage, podcasting etc. Work is considered for long term preservation in the library archives. We often work with Library historical collections and diverse communities.  

Want to learn a bit more about this project? our short video summarizes some of the recent work. 

Empathy Bytes allows the student to define their role in the project through track selection. Each track has a specific focus, but ties into the larger goals of the project. Teams vary depending on the specific focus for each semester but are loosely centered on our sub-teams below. Each sub team has a team lead or two that help guide the process and onboards new students. This is an excellent opportunity for students to develop leadership skills. Most development work is completed via sub teams. Sub teams meet at mutually agreeable times and modes throughout the semester. We have approximately 8-10 all-team meetings each semester that take place during class time.

We currently have teams working on the following:

- Creating immersive environments using Unity, Blender, and Luma AI.

- Developing accompanying apps with React Native, Swift, Xcode, and Figma

- Developing our website using Drupal, JavaScript, and Github

- Student journalists and media creators who document our work as we progress.


Specific Issues/Topics Addressed:

- Human centered technology design

- Emerging Technologies and Multimedia for storytelling

- Cultural engagement

- XR development and uses

- Web development and Responsive design

- Media Production and Preservation

- Oral History / Interviewing Technologies

- Archival Research


Methods and Technologies

  • Digital Archives
  • Community Building and Preservation
  • Multi-media Production
  • XR development
  • App Development
  • Web Development
  • Interviews
  • Documentaries
  • Photography/Video
  • Adobe Creative Suite - Media Editing Tools
  • Audio Editing and Production
  • Regional History
  • Public Speaking and Marketing
  • Community Outreach

Academic Majors of Interest

  • ComputingComputational Media
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • ComputingHuman-Centered Computing
  • ComputingHuman-Computer Interaction
  • DesignIndustrial Design
  • DesignMusic Technology
  • Ivan AllenDigital Media
  • Ivan AllenGlobal Media and Cultures
  • Ivan AllenHistory, Technology, and Society
  • Ivan AllenLiterature, Media, and Communication
  • OtherEducation
  • OtherFilm and Media Studies
  • SciencesPsychology

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Background/interest in mixed reality, virtual reality, app development, writing, journalism, interviewing, audio editing, multimedia production, digital archiving, photography, culture, community, media, communication, podcasting, curation of news stories, interactive media, web development and content curation.

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Alison Valk

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

Georgia Tech Library, Interdisciplinary Media Arts Center, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Related Sites