Wearable Technology – Sony Smartwatch review #wearable @sony #smartwatch

1 Comment

After hearing Matt Isherwoods presentation “The state of wearable tech” at Hot Source last week I was again quite surprised not to hear the mention of the Sony Smartwatch. You always hear of the new apple watch, that isn’t even out yet, or the samsung version and the pebble, but never the Sony Smartwatch, so I’m going to give you a review of this watch, as I think it’s brilliant and does all of the things a smartwatch should but keeps being overlooked…

wpid-dsc_0047.jpg

Sony Smartwatch

Admittedly I got the watch as part of a deal with my Sony Xperia Z1 last year, and when it arrived I had a look and put it back in the box, but I was intrigued.

I have always worn a watch, which seems a little old fashioned as so many people these days would prefer to find their phone, turn it on and then see the time but I have always enjoyed the simplistic twist, look and see the time. I also liked being able to swap watches to suit my mood, or my outfit, a big sparkly job for going out and a simple black strap for the weekends, but always there, always able to find the time.

About a week later I decided to give the Smartwatch a week’s trial properly, not swapping for my favourite blue one, but giving over to the need to play with a new bit of tech.

I started searching and researching online for recommended apps and ways to set it up, changing the clock face to a regular one, not a digital readout – I’d been taught properly how to read the time – hooked it up with my email, twitter and facebook accounts and gave it a full charge all ready for the morning.

I found it really easy to connect to my phone, just swipe the backs of both devices together and they both vibrate to say they’re connected, along with a particular ‘bing’ and I was off.

The first thing I recommend to anyone who gets one of these watches is to turn off facebook notifications, facebook literally bombard you with every nugget and nuance that happens and it totally annoyed me, so that app got removed straight away, the twitter one has been much better with the recent update making it simpler to only receive important notifications, but in the early days that got removed for the same reason as well.

At first I found it almost too big for my little wrist, I do have particularly small wrists, so it wasn’t uncommon for many of my watches to have an extra handmade hole in the strap, but this one was rubber, so I couldn’t do that, but due to the large flat face of the watch, it doesn’t have a chance to wander  too far round.

I really like the masculine flat gloss black front and simple black strap, it only has one physical button on the side, the other controls, back, home, settings, are touch areas, just like on any (oh not apple) normal smartphone. Whilst ‘asleep’ it shows the time with a display that reminds me of an e-ink display so it functions just as a watch should. I have a friend who has the first version of the sony smartwatch and I can’t believe he has to press the physical button to get it to tell you the time. If you tap, or bash, or move your hand quite violently, you will find that it lights up by about 50% so you can see the time in the dark, whilst a single press on the button will light it up fully. You need to press on the home button in the middle to access the many screens and apps actually on the watch, which I find a great bonus as you never access them by accident.

wpid-dsc_0049.jpg

My first wow moment was when I realised I could be James Bond and take photos on my phone, but using my watch, how cool is that!

wpid-smartcamera_1417619439022.jpg

Although this is a bit gimmicky, I did find a genuine use for this distanced photography when I tried to take a photo from the highest possible point in a room of a large scale model, I found the tallest friend there and got them to hold my phone as high as they could, obviously they couldn’t see what they were pointing at or focusing on, but I could, on my watch display of what my phone could see, everyone was mightily impressed with that. It only has a short range, but it does work through floors and walls very well!

I can control my music from my watch, which I don’t use so much, but when I’m playing music with my phone laying on a table as a portable stereo, then it is easier to do this from my watch, I can also adjust the volume from within the watch app.

wpid-dsc_0054.jpg

Of course the essential requirements of a smartwatch are to receive texts, calls and emails and this the Sony does really well, you can see the name and a small preview of the message both with the text and email.wpid-dsc_0052.jpgwpid-dsc_0061.jpgwith just a downwards glance, and this is where I found I grew to like and want to use this watch more and more, until these days I feel a little lost without it.

I like that I can quickly see who’s ringing me, is it worth looking for my phone, or wait til later, also if I have my headset in and my phone tucked deep in a pocket I can answer the call and be straight onto the important calls, and even if I’m not plugged in, I can accept the call and just shout at the caller, as I fumble to the bottom of my bag for my phone, and they can hear me and I don’t miss it. Which I used to do a lot, so this has been a big improvement.

wpid-dsc_0050.jpg

But the most used app on my watch is the timer, my girls want to race ‘Can you time us Mum?’ the microwave doesn’t have a timer, but I do, eggs need cooking and I can wander away with the clock running, timing the perfect cup of tea.. is that going too far… 🙂

I have now had the phone a year and thought it time that I reviewed how it has crept into being an important part of my life, I see my texts straight away, so can keep in touch and receive vital information at the turn of a wrist and I still have the time where it has always been, on my wrist.

I’ve never had a problem with the length of charge, it usually lasts a week and is a non-intrusive piece of tech, which when people see it in action, they are quite blown away…

It’s definitely one that has gone under the radar, but I’d highly recommend it, the only downside, maybe it could be a bit more smaller?

I feel like it’s a special little secret that only I have discovered and want to tell people about it, so when I see someone talking about wearable tech, they shouldn’t overlook this hidden gem.

Advertisements

Dubai 360 – interactive 360 degree timelapse experiences

Leave a comment

Dubai 360

http://dubai360.com/

This amazing project is employing 360 timelapse imagery into interactive experiences available from anywhere in the world.  (a project launched by Sheikh Hamdan back in August)

Fascinating…

Dubai360 was shot with four perfectly synchronized Canon 1Dx cameras.

Lenses on the cameras were Canon EF 8-15mm f4 L USM fisheye zooms.

Over 88,000 photographs were taken over the course of the 30 hours of shooting, with one set of photographs being taken every 5 seconds.
22K Panoramas. These photographs were then stitched using Kolor Autopano Video into 22,000 separate panoramas to create the source frames for the video you can experience above.
and for the ultimate wow, look at this footage of Sheikh Hamdan standing on top of the Burj

Leap Motion, a first look

1 Comment

There are a few different ways to use gesture to control, rather than a physical button pressing controller.

The Leap Motion is a lovely little device, and promises much.

 

 

Leap Motion

Leap Motion

Leap Motion next to a pen so you can see the size

Leap Motion next to a pen so you can see the size

Leap Motion

Leap Motion

I wanted to see if it could deliver it’s claim of a new way of interacting with the world.

The first thing after unboxing was to have a play in the recently updated Leap Motion playground with some of the v2 apps.

As you can see from the video it’s amazing when it works, how intuitively it takes your hand movements and interpret them into a 3D space, when you can pick up and play with virtual objects.

The Leap Motion getting started zone

The Leap Motion getting started zone

But almost as soon as I’m out of the ‘playground’ area I stumble over the recurring problem of coding the damn thing, not even that, I have to choose my language… Where’s the helpful button that says, don’t know which coding environment to use because it scares you witless? Click here and we’ll help .

I have no idea which development environment I’m going to be able to manage with, but I am always willing to have a look if I get a bit of help.

This is quite a common theme to trying to make art interactive, the code behind the technology is almost prohibitive and I know from experience that you can go so far down the complex track of coding, only to discover that actually, it would have been better to do it a different way, in a different code environment, but not being a coder this is tricky. I envy the guys at Aparna Rao as they have tech guys who turn their ideas into reality by looking after the backend, whilst they create…

But back to the Leap, I have to dive into the code, so I plump for the Javascript option, hoping that my small amount of flash scripting might help.

to be continued…

 

Fringe Festival Wrap-up

Leave a comment

I really enjoyed being part of the fringe and even though my installation was a labour of love to go and start and close each day, it did have it’s benefits…

At the end of the show day when I would close down, I could shut of all of the lights and sounds from other artworks and really immerse myself in the sound that I had created, it was peaceful, refreshing and a pleasure to have the wonderful acoustics working for my piece and indulge my senses with my installation in the secret place under the War Memorial in Norwich, all to myself.

I took a short video clip from one of the last days as I wanted to preserve the space’s wonderful impact on my piece.

and a lovely roundup from Rosie Cooper of all the artworks on show.

Critical Evaluation

Leave a comment

‘Reality Augmented Reality’

Tracey Tutt

Masters Project – Critical Evaluation

MA Moving Image and Sound 2014

Introduction

For my final project I wanted to create an engaging experience utilising Augmented Reality to bring an extinct animal back to life in an interactive installation.

Through my research into immersive spaces both historical (trompe l’oeil, the phantasmagoria, peppers ghost) and contemporary (James May App @ the Science Museum, Digital Revolutions show at the Barbican, Google Glasses) it was clear that with each new emerging technology inventors and artists would seek different ways to utilise the newly discovered to make all-encompassing works.

Their aim was to delight in playing with the senses of those that came to see, to hold them captive by what they had produced, to amaze and wow the crowds with each new version of the spectacle.

Many of the Augmented Reality examples I have seen in my research, – my preferred software platform Aurasma has been used by Harrods, BBC, Disney and Universal – tend to be flippant games, or marketing frippery and every time I see them I’m disappointed that this fabulous way of personally interacting with people is so commercial.

My aim is to use all of my technical skills and that plethora of new digital technology that is available, to make a beautiful immersive piece of interactive art meaningful, basing it on the very real problem of extinction.

The Great Bustard is still the heaviest living bird that can fly, but they died out from the UK in the 1830’s. I saw the information label in the Norwich Castle Museum where they house an impressive case of these large animals, and when I saw it, I wanted to bring them out of the case and back to ‘life’ through the magic of today’s technology.

The Great Bustard Label from the Norwich Castle Museum

The Great Bustard Label from the Norwich Castle Museum

Although my virtual reintroduction of the bird to East Anglia only exists in this installation, there is an actual re-introduction of the Great Bustard on Salisbury Plain by a very small, but dedicated group.

www.greatbustard.org

Chapter 1 – Reality Augmented

In my previous self negotiated unit I had created a purely digital device-led experience using a 3D cgi version of a Great Bustard which I laboured over intensively, and although the feedback was really positive, I felt its’ focus was too narrow on its own. The intention had been as an accompaniment to a museum exhibit. As a digital artist I sometimes forget the very visceral stimuli of the real world. I also realised that if this was a live public project I would be collaborating with professional 3D artists (not struggling with it myself) as the object (the cgi) would not be the end result.

Being an avid museum fan myself, I am always fascinated by being able to gaze upon an original artefact, and I realised that the interest in seeing the actual objects as well as interacting with them was part of the direction that my final project should take.

I needed to include a physical object within my installation, and the obvious choice was a model of a great bustard. Having a life size sculpture of the Great Bustard in my installation was important to give the physical context of this enormous bird. All of your senses are instantly engaged with its very presence and there was no better way to convey this than with an accurate model.

Although my installation is underpinned by technology, putting a physical object in my space will give it more meaning. Digital screens are all pervasive and we are so used to the architectural furniture of the ‘flat black’ that I wanted to ensure I brought a spatial dynamic back in, and once more we would become inquisitive about this new shape that we have been presented with.

It will also draw the intrigued viewer closer and when they choose to interact, to step forward, they will move unwittingly onto my pressure mat, which once triggered, plays the animation of the Great Bustard taking off and flying across the wall space right in front of you. This gives the visitor a chance to be part of my virtual awakening and re-introduction.

Whilst looking around at what current practitioners are doing with art and technology I made sure I visited the Barbican exhibition, Digital Revolution.

“This immersive and interactive exhibition brings together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media.” (Barbican press release 2014)

Mimaform petting Zoo at the Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican

Mimaform petting Zoo at the Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican

Many of the pieces in the exhibition lacked the interactivity that I had expected, and although beautiful or clever, with no interactivity apparent, the viewer would soon move onto the next piece. To illustrate this point, when I was at the Barbican, one of the pieces, the Minimaforms petting zoo with their fabulous digital pet snakes, was supposed to be interactive. I wanted to see this in action, but after 3 attempts and watching many visitors also try, the piece just didn’t respond to those wanting to play and I observed a lot of people’s disappointment. The same with the will.i.am piece, with beautifully machined pyramid-shaped mechanical instruments and cutting edge graphics, but no responsiveness to external stimuli, limiting its playfulness and appeal.

Making the sculpture interactive, actually responding to the people or person within the space is of paramount importance to the success of the piece, when you can feel that you impact upon a piece of art or sculpture you’re making a passive event into an experience.

An Oxford dictionary definition of ‘ to interact’ is described as “to act in such a way as to have an effect on each other”. Because I chose to leave my sculpture plain white so that the size is the foremost impression, I have also given myself a perfect surface to project my animation onto, again reinforcing the physical interaction and focus of the piece.

Reactions from those that have seen the sculpture thus far have been intrigue, interest and a genuine request for a bit more information, usually along the lines of, “is it life-size?” All of them seemed to agree it was a conversation starter and were fascinated to see it in situ with the animation running. This means I have a great starting point to talk about the very real subject of extinction and create digital art with meaning.

The animation itself came through a process of mark making and testing with different media and techniques. I wanted it to have texture and movement within the paper, I wanted it to be beautiful, not a stylized graphical illustration, which is my normal safe digital art practice. I wanted the art to feel as though it moved, to be bold and free, with high expressiveness of line capturing the movement of the physical action.

Showing the movement on one my animation frames

Showing the movement on one of my animation frames

To make the texture as exciting as possible I had discovered through more experimentation that using found feathers in the animation frames made such particular marks that I could not replicate, or better, by hand. It seemed fitting to be using them to animate flight.

To truly be augmented art.

“No one could fault the advances in technology on display, but the art that has emerged out of that technology? Well, on this showing, too much of it seems gimmicky, weak and overly concerned with spectacle rather than meaning, or making a comment on our culture.” (Sooke 2014)

I also wanted to envelop the viewer with sound and after researching their previous habitats in Norfolk  I came upon the impact of environmental issues, the Brecks used to be a vast heathland covering parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, but few truly wild pieces of this heathland remain. It’s very protected and access is limited, but the audio recordings are a lovely reminder of what a summers day can be, relaxing, peaceful and it puts the viewer exactly where the Great Bustard would have roamed wild.

Chapter 2 – Augmented Reality

I saw a group of museum innovators in Belgium (meSCH project) inserting a mobile device within a wooden loupe/magnifying glass which they gave to their visitors to view more in-depth information on any of the objects with the little loupe symbol on their labels.

Through their research they had discovered in their first iteration of using digital devices to show more information, where they had simply given an iPad unadorned and with all controls available to the user, volume, on/off etc, ended badly, as people were more confused about which button to press or not to press, on the devices they were given.

“Still, many visitors were reluctant to pick up an iPad. The installation did not have a clear interface and many people are not familiar with AR yet… when encountering a piece of technology they have used before outside of the museum space, visitors will try to use that technology like they have used it before “, (Van der Vaart 2014)

the Digital 'Loupe' prototype from the meSCH group

The Digital ‘Loupe’ prototype from the meSCH project

Their second ‘loupe’ approach helped overcome many of the obstacles that people perceive around digital devices. You held it in a natural way, and used it to look at things just as you would a real magnifying glass. I wanted to use this ‘soft’ approach to a digital device being in my space and because I was basing my project around the heaviest flying bird to live, a pair of binoculars seemed the natural choice.

I was lucky enough to get a short interview with David Waterhouse (Curator of the current ‘Wonder of Birds’ Exhibition at the Norwich Castle Museum) and I demoed my AR binoculars to him. He liked the intuitive form factor and could see a very real use for overlaying all sorts of information on exhibits with them, such as his future Mammoth project, to see what it would have looked like, and conversely to see the skeletal structure of existing taxidermy pieces.

David Waterhouse using my AR binoculars

David Waterhouse using my AR binoculars

He also found that their use of the technology in your pocket (ie, an iPhone) is appealing as it’s personal and you can use it to find out more, when you want to. This is exactly the point of using your own smartphone, to discover extra layers. This is the pleasure of exhibition technology that I am trying to communicate through my work.

“Those who run museums know that the people walking around their buildings are already spending an inordinate amount of time using their phones… So it only makes sense to find ways to turn phones into storytelling tools that can bring the inanimate to life. Or shift time. Or add layers of knowledge.” (Rieland, 2012)

Giving the visitors a variety of ‘artworks’ to look at through the binoculars presents an opportunity to show all of the different ways you could impart more knowledge or information, from simple overlaying of explanatory video, to interactive screens where you choose from a menu, and make your own decisions about what you would like to explore.

Chapter 3 – Reality Augmented Reality

Putting the physical and the virtual together into an interactive space to present a seamless experience has – at times – seemed a far too ambitious project for just one person.

However, much of the peripheral items that I have created, such as the sculpture, artwork and associated literature already exist in most heritage or educational establishments.

My aim was to show the world that you can overlay these existing items in a non-destructive way. It would have been ideal to bring in a stuffed Great Bustard, but as there are (at time of writing) only 14 living Great Bustards existing in the UK on the Salisbury re-introduction site they are too rare and special and are highly prized amongst collectors, should one come on the market.

I could also have exhibited a different set of drawings, but in this case – as in most exhibitions – the items on display should have a connection with each other.

With the audio soundscape, cohesive theme and relevant literature I hope to engage the viewer and pique their interest in the plight of the Great Bustards and the struggles that David Waters (Great Bustard Group founder) and his team have, but also inform them by overlaying information on every item through Augmented Reality.

I wanted to prove it could be done, to show museum professionals and academics that if I were to work alongside them for future projects, we could engage the viewer on many more levels, learning would become more of an experience. Overlaying the existing exhibit with more content using the device in their pocket and appropriate extra information would enlighten the viewer there and then directly in front of the item they want to learn more about.

Conclusion

I have taken a contemporary issue (extinction of species) and devised a complex and immersive strategy for making the viewer of the installation consider the physical , visual and sonic, and aesthetic loss that such extinction creates, filling the space where the bird should be with replacement sensory experiences.

This is the key to making my installation a success, encouraging people to take part, whether virtually, by accessing the extra layers of information in my printed items through Augmented Reality, or with their physical curiosity providing the reaction with my sculpture.

But the sculpture is not the outcome of my final piece, nor the animation, or the sound, or even the Augmented Reality art that people can take away, it’s the layering of them all together, one over the other, over the other, it’s proving that the interaction of these layers is where the future lies for storytelling in museums or art galleries or schools, not just through one medium, but through them all and the power of interaction.

If we were all one-dimensional how boring would that be?

Bibliography

Barbican Press Release, 2014, An immersive exhibition of art, design, film, music and videogames http://www.barbican.org.uk/digital-revolution/press/

Beck, J.  (2004) Animation Art: From Pencil to Pixel, the World of Cartoon, Anime, and CGI. London. Harper Design,

Colson, R., 2007. The Fundamentals of Digital Art. Switzerland. AVA publishing.

Dobson, T. (2006) The Film Work of Norman McLaren. Eastleigh. John Libbey Publishing

Esther, L. (2004). Hollywood Flatlands: animation, critical theory and the avant garde. London. Verso.

Geoffrey Mann. 2011. Flight Take-Off. cast glass. Held at Norwich Castle Museum (acquired in 2012)

Grau, O., 2007. Media Art Histories. MIT Press

Paul, C (2008) Digital Art. Thames and Hudson, world art series.

Rieland, Randy, 2012, Augmented Reality Livens up Museums, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/augmented-reality-livens-up-museums-22323417/ accessed Jan 2014

Rodgers, P and  Smyth, M. (2010). Digital Blur: Creative Practice at the Boundaries of Architecture, Design and Art. Oxford. Libri Publishing

Rose, G. (2006) Visual Methodologies: An introduction to the interpretation of Visual Materials: An introduction to the interpretation of Visual Methods (2nd Ed.), London:Sage

Sooke, Alistair, Jun 2014, Digital Revolution, Barbican Centre, review: ‘gimmicky’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-reviews/10935600/Digital-Revolution-Barbican-Centre-review-gimmicky.html Accessed June 2014.

Van der Vaart, Merel. April 23rd 2014.  Using Augmented Reality in the Museum http://mesch-project.eu/using-augmented-reality-in-the-museum/ Accessed June 3rd 2014

XU, W. (2012). Drawing in the Digital Age. Indiana. Wiley-Blackwell.

http://youtu.be/S1qD3gfk4QI . McLaren, Love on the wing, (1938) accessed 14/03/2014

http://youtu.be/1JkaoOzb-PY. Arctic Monkeys, I wanna be yours. (2013) accessed 14/03/2014

David Waterhouse, the wonder of birds

Leave a comment

I was lucky enough to get a chance to meet with David Waterhouse and talk about his ‘Wonder of Birds’ exhibition currently running at the Norwich Castle Museum.

Wonder of Birds at the Norwich Castle Museum

Wonder of Birds at the Norwich Castle Museum

I was interested to know why he had chosen the pieces he had and whether he had looked at more modern technology within this show, trying to gauge if my work would be suitable in this kind of environment.

It took him 4 years to curate the whole show and he wanted to use new technology and computers as an extra way of interacting and layering information, but constraints on time and budget meant he really needed to concentrate on the pieces first and foremost, and not having an extra pair of hands, or a new technologist to concentrate on that side of things, meant it didn’t happen for this project.

But, up in the rotunda with the regimental museum section, they have introduced touchscreens to explain more of the exhibits that you can see. David told me that at one time they used to have museum interpreters working in the different sections and they would act as guides for the pieces, and they hoped that these touchscreens would be used in a similar way.

I then went on to show David my AR binoculars, which he was fascinated with and we discussed which parts of my project could have real world use and these he felt the strongest element that could translate across into exhibitions.

David Waterhouse using my AR binoculars

David Waterhouse using my AR binoculars

He loved the fact that inside the shiny binoculars was just an old iPhone which meant that it was accessible to everyone with just the device in their own pockets. He could see them being used for looking inside animals, seeing the skeleton over the stuffed animal, or seeing what it once would have looked like over the bones.

He also agreed with me that the recognisable form factor – binoculars – meant that you instinctively knew what to do with them, which was my hope!

David had also looked at the art of labelling and had read some research about the distance between the article and it’s label, the further away from the object, actually contributes to disconnecting the information. This made sense, if it took you a long time to find the correlating text, you may well have lost interest or seen something else in the meantime!

I think this is where AR has a real bonus, you’re right there and so is the information…

Touchscreens in the Regimental Museum section at Norwich Castle

Touchscreens in the Regimental Museum section at Norwich Castle

After our interview I went up to visit the screens in the rotunda, they look great, there is a vast amount of information on them, beautifully presented, but when I sat to observe people interacting with the space, everyone enjoyed looking at the objects in the glass cases, and stood and looked at the screens, but apart from children (and me) nobody touched them, the girl I saw quickly swiped back and forth over the timeline, but was called away by her mum to look in the case… The screens are sat on a wall facing the objects, but of course you have to sit with your back to the objects to use them and then you’re sat right in front of a wall, with a great photo on it, blown up to cover the entire wall, but only the screen…

The information on them is also quite dry, wonderfully detailed in many different layers, but no-one to click on them… a shame… they have done exactly what David was referring too, disassociated the information from the objects, through physical distance.

 

Digital Revolution and the V&A

Leave a comment

Digital Revolution at the Barbican until 14th September

wpid-dsc_0167.jpg

I had desperately wanted to get down to London to see this Digital show, but with deadlines short this was the only date available, with College Workshops shut on a Friday the only thing left for me to do was the writing and visit this show, so with 4 hours on the train to concentrate on my critical evaluation I thought it was a perfect opportunity to marry the two.

wpid-dsc_0206.jpgwpid-dsc_0207.jpg

wpid-dsc_0208.jpg

The exhibition is broken up into sections.

wpid-dsc_0170.jpg

Although it was fascinating to see all of the old technology I had hoped for more from this section, I recognised quite a few games and consoles, such as an old spectrum and the cream coloured macs with floppy disk drive, it wasn’t much of a revolution.

Quantel Paintbox, 1981, predecessor of the Wacom Tablet, revolutionised the way graphics were produced

Quantel Paintbox, 1981, predecessor of the Wacom Tablet, revolutionised the way graphics were produced

My frame for the Johnny Cash Project

My frame for the Johnny Cash Project

The We Create section was more what I was expecting, you could submit your art in the Johnny Cash Project and interact with robotic birds made from recycled phones, by contacting them on an old dial phone.

wpid-dsc_0175.jpg

The information about inception and gravity was interesting, but the way they presented and you could access the behind the scenes layers of Inception was of more interest to me, they looked to be using leapmotion…. A wonderful little device which can track five fingers of movement in 3D space. Really fluid transition though the layers on information, very responsive and made it very easy to jump in and use.

wpid-dsc_0179.jpgwpid-dsc_0177.jpgUsing the leap motion to scroll through the layers used in the making of Inception.

will.i.am using one of the oldest illusions in the world the inverted shape to give that 3D effect

will.i.am using one of the oldest illusions in the world the inverted shape to give that 3D effect

The will.i.am project was ok, it was just a platform with fancy animatronics to control the individually designed pyramid instruments and the cleverest part was the use of the inverted shape to give the illusion that his eyes and face were following you around the room, but it’s a very old trick.

wpid-dsc_0194.jpg

Chris Milk’s ‘State of play’ is a really impressive interactive art piece, this is exactly what I expected from the digital revolution show – and it looked spectacular, the movement was fluid and although it all happens quite quickly, you really get engaged with your shadow and what happens to it in the three stages. Very reactive and fully immersive in the massive space.

Dev art was full of more quirky pieces, I wasn’t sure if I was contributing to the art there or not for some of the pieces, but the keyboard radio was quite fascinating.

Dev Art area

Dev Art area

Digital futures included lady gagas dress and a skirt you could put pregenerated led light images onto (iMiniskirt).

Again the indie games section was interesting but not what I’d call innovative.

Mimaforms petting zoo

Mimaforms petting zoo

The mimaforms petting zoo was only disappointing because I didn’t see a single person successfully interact with them, they looked cool though.

Umbrellium

Umbrellium

Umbrellium was a trance experience in a smoky underbelly space and felt like being at the end of a quiet rave, when viewed through the plexiglass window whilst we had our pep talk, it looked like a zombie movie, people entranced by the light moving slowly about with their arms outraised to the light.

Marshmallow Laser Feast Forest

Marshmallow Laser Feast Forest

The Laser feast tree installation was a work on an immense scale, it looked amazing and gently moving through the ‘trees’ giving each trunk a good push make pleasing tones and I really enjoyed watching the laser lights on the roof dance about alongside their relaxing notes.

Overall I was slightly disappointed with The Barbican show, but on the other hand very interested to see that my peer Andy Logies art and sound piece, would fit straight in, and with a few tweaks, so would mine.

Andy had his Forum exhibition on Thursday and it was brilliant, it worked wel, looked fantastic on the enormous screens they have in the Fusion screen at the Forum, and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with his piece.

Andy Logie's piece 'bound'

Andy Logie’s piece ‘bound’

Although it made me think a little more about mine, would my piece be as engaging, it’s a very quick shot – firing  the flight animation – will it hold the viewer for more than a moment, how do I get across the meaning behind it… ie, this is what AR could do for you, and you already have the device in your pocket!

The V&A palindrome sign

The V&A palindrome sign

I managed to squeeze in a quick dash to the V & A, to see their interactive tables….

Interactive material tables in the furniture section at the V&A

Interactive material tables in the furniture section at the V&A

The V & A furniture collection have introduced touch screens with information beside the object, but they are just so dry, very similar to the screens at Norwich Museum, even though they are right by the object, they feel strangely disconnected and are uninteresting to click on.

wpid-dsc_0128.jpgThe materials interactive tables are also disappointing… although you have the added interest of tactility with the object itself, they have samples of the different materials scattered around the tables edge, the content that comes up is just like a page from the internet and again it’s a very dry way of interacting.

Different media/materials are on the outside of the table

Different media/materials are on the outside of the table

The way that it functions is also slightly awkward as you need to hold your hand over the little hole that they have in each different piece of wood or metal sample, and if you remove your hand before it’s loaded it can stall and disappear, conversely if you do want to read the other pages, hovering over the object for their pre-determined amount of time feels like an eternity to wait. I would like to have seen the first page come up much quicker and then be able to control the speed and which page I am viewing with the more intuitive hand swipes and gesture that we are used to using.

The holes which you need to cover in order for the interactivity to work

The holes which you need to cover in order for the interactivity to work

It’s a very large area for not much happening.

Rapid Response Collectiona st the V&A

Rapid Response Collection at the V&A

However the rapid response collecting area which I stumbled upon was a really pleasant surprise.

wpid-dsc_0144.jpg

“The museum collected the objects in this gallery in direct response to important moments in the recent history of design and manufacturing”

Flappy bird and the nude shoe

Flappy bird and the nude shoe

An eclectic collection of a dozen objects, one of which included the app ‘flappy bird’ and a wearable terminal, they had an oculus rift headset.

Oculus Rift in the Rapid Response collection at the V&A

Oculus Rift in the Rapid Response collection at the V&A

Great to see such an established Museum making a collection out of news headline tech or social changes.

Disobedient Objects

Disobedient Objects

Disobedient Objects is one of the featured shows within the V&A currently and it was interesting to see this very politically motivated exhibition on one side of the beautiful reception area, and just opposite were the beautiful statues in a grand space.

wpid-dsc_0152.jpg

wpid-dsc_0160.jpg

wpid-dsc_0161.jpg

3D Binocular Augmented Reality Viewer… done #augmentedreality #AR #aurasma

Leave a comment

 

 

 

wpid-dsc_0030.jpg

Remember these?

wpid-dsc_0033.jpg

The central divider which turned them into a 3D viewer was a sticking point for them to view Augmented Reality, so I had to try and find a way to remove it without breaking the rest of the plastic surround.

I was very disappointed to realise that the plastic that they had used was in fact very strong, so a craft knife wasn’t even going to make a dent in the rigid structure.

I went down into the 3D workshop to see what tools they might have that could be of use… I thought that a curved hacksaw blade might do the trick, but it just wouldn’t work as you would have no room with which to draw the blade back and forth  any useful distance…

I then asked if they had any heavyduty ‘snips’ I remember using tin snips in previous making ventures and them cutting tin well… Luckily Jim did have a pair of snips, although he didn’t think they would get through the thick plastic.

He gave it a go and they went through the plastic easier than he thought they would! Brilliant.. I sat down to do it and found it really wasn’t as easy as Jim made it look, my feeble little hands struggled making the snips cut any sort of distance, so I resorted to taking tiny little nibbles out of the middle divider.

This was still really hard and also meant of course it took 3 times as long, about a hour and a half to get down the full length of the binoculars – and the blisters on my fingers will attest to this!

wpid-dsc_0038.jpg

 

Eventually, I reached a point where you couldn’t see anything left of the divider when looking through the eyepieces, so then turned to a large handled rasp to file away all of the little ragged edges.
wpid-dsc_0039.jpgPop in your ipod and hey presto AR Binoculars!

These will be used in my installation to demo my Augmented Reality booklet content and postcards.

I will be preloading the ipod with my own Aurasma channel – tracey tutt – so that all of my printed materials come to life when viewed through the AR Binoculars.

The idea behind making them binoculars comes from a desire to introduce devices to view content in a soft way, ie rather than have an obvious iphone or android smart phone sat in front of you, which could confuse frighten or just irritate the viewer I wanted it to be simple, pick it up in a tactile form – binoculars – and simply do the natural thing with the object, look through the eyepieces.

 

 

Weeting visit for sound

Leave a comment

wpid-dsc_0029.jpg

A visit to Weeting Heath was one of the last places I wanted to record sound from. As one of the remaining parts of the Brecks Heath this would have been the home of the Great Bustard .

wpid-dsc_0005.jpg

The chaps at the visitor centre although quizzical about what I was doing were quite happy to recommend the East Hide as no-one would visit there to see the infamous Stone Curlews as the grass is too long, so I had the hide to myself and could set up myu two sound recorders at either end, to really give a spatial sound result.

wpid-dsc_0003.jpg

I was using 2 H4 Zoom recorders at approximately 12 feet apart.

wpid-dsc_0004.jpg

Looking out over the Brecks Heath habitat..

Unfortunately it is next to a fast road, RAF Lakenheath and a steam rally but there are moments of pure tranquillity and I hope the reproduction will do it justice.

wpid-dsc_0021.jpg

A short walk away was a lovely forest trail with the hope of being further away from the road and rally, so I trekked up there and managed to record a couple of shorter sessions, using the same 12 feet apart set up, as I will be overlaying the different habitats from Weeting, Salisbury Plain and Santon Downham in the final mix.

wpid-dsc_0024.jpgI have already selected the best raw audio footage and am hoping to get in the sound studio next week for the final selection.

MAX MSP essential to know and useful tutorials #MAXMSP

Leave a comment

Starting to use MAX msp and feeling very out of my depth. For the past 5 days I have been struggling to get through the tutorials and having major problems with getting any sort of video to play back, even using the tutorial patchers didn’t work. I just kept getting the error message imovie countdown.mov: error opening file whatever I tried. I downloaded MAX onto another machine, just in case it was the machine. no. Then I scoured the internet for different tutorials, thinking maybe it had a bug in the tutorial… no… Finally this morning, typing in ‘imovie dozer.mov: error opening file’ MAX msp’  into google and I get a result

movie playback in 64 bit version of Max is limited for the time being.
the 32 bit version does not have these limitations, and is recommended for users interested in quicktime functionality.
http://cycling74.com/forums/topic/vizzie-playr-imovie-error-opening-file-jit-qt-movie-doesnt-understand/

64bt is not compatible with the video playback.. how frustrating why doesn’t it say that on the download page…

by the way before you download if you want to do video DON’T DOWNLOAD THE 64 BIT!

Uninstall, reinstall (on one machine anyway) and presto bingo, working as it should be…

Cycling74 Max/MSP/Jitter Tutorials: Play a Movie

 

The very basics

http://alhodgsonn.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/maxmsp/

Older Entries Newer Entries