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Using Processing with the Kinect, Raspberry Pi and the Twitter streaming API

For my latest assignment at University, my group and I have been tasked with the challenge of representing our fictional digital agency, Hex, as an interactive installation.

We are very ahead of schedule, but currently we have created an installation that uses the Xbox Kinect with Processing to display the user on screen which can interact with hexagons (derived from our name Hex) and using the colour palette from our brand bible.

On the bottom left of the screen is a photo which is taken of the user at set intervals using a Raspberry Pi running headlessly and hooked up to a Xbox 360 webcam. The Pi then uploads this to the Hex twitter account and Processing then receives this image via the Twitter streaming API and displays it instantly.

IMG_20140324_160019 IMG_20140324_160101

March 24, 2014

Online Task – Fake Facebook Account

Screenshot 2013-12-18 at 18.31.28

For my the online task, I decided to base my alter ego on an existing character from one of my personal favourite anime shows, “Durarara!”.
The photo isn’t particularly realistic, as the character, Celty Sturluson is a mythical being from Ireland, similar to that of the Grim Reaper, has had her head stolen.
I know people won’t believe I really am a headless being, but people who know the show will likely assume I am an obsessive fan who has enough free time to create a fake Facebook account.
The character is female, I did try to remove my Adam’s apple from my neck, but I think my shoulders are broad enough to be a giveaway that I am male. For a cover photo I choose a motorcycle, which is synonymous with the character, parked outside a ramen shop in Ikebukuro, the district in Tokyo that Celty lives.

Screenshot 2013-12-19 at 12.04.48

On the profile, I tried to fill in as much information as I could find about Celty, trying to give her an accurate representation. I had to create a workplace named “underground transporter” with a job title of motorcycle courier because in the show the name of the company she originally worked for is not revealed, likely because she transports illegal goods. For the living location I had to find out which prefecture Ikebukuro was in because Facebook expects locations in Tokyo to be input as a particular format. Ikebukuro, Tokyo or just Tokyo is not accepted, this is likely to try to prevent fake data being inserted. The same was true when I tried to state where I was from, I wasn’t able to only say Ireland, which is all the show reveals about Celty’s original location, so I put Dublin, Ireland’s capital.
I posted some silly updates and complicated relationship status, more references to the show. This is something I think a person trying to pretend to be Celty may say, similar to what can be seen to other parody social network accounts, particularly those seen on Twitter.
The only friends this account has is Oliver Krowe, his fake facebook account and my own account. I didn’t want to try to add more people because the thought of it makes me feel quite embarrassed. I didn’t want people who weren’t in on the assignment to think I genuinely was that much of an obsessive fan.

Screenshot 2013-12-19 at 12.22.09

 

I did attempt, and was successful in joining the Bournemouth University anime club Facebook group by someone who wasn’t aware of the online task. I have met and spoken with Teniola, the moderator who approved my request, on a few occasions, though we are not familiar enough to be Facebook friends. I assume she accepted my request based on my name and photo which she recognised from the show and therefore assumed I was the obsessive fan I attempted to be. Or she may have looked at Celty’s friends list and seen Oliver Krowe who is this years anime group leader and approved my request because of this.

Screenshot 2013-12-19 at 12.29.55

In the show, Celty is unable to speak because she has no head. To communicate she types a message on her PDA and holds it up to the recipient. Flash forward to 2013 where PDA’s no longer hold the dominance the once did, I upgraded Celty’s device to a smarthpone. Of course on Facebook, this is completely redundant, the real Celty would likely just type a message, not take a photo of her smartphone and then post that photo. Again this reference only has meaning to people who have prior knowledge of the show, so I decided to post it on Oliver’s wall. Sadly I did not receive any responses.

Screenshot 2013-12-19 at 12.37.26

Finally, I added a few likes. Motorcycles, Ikebukuro and of course the BU: Consumer Culture page where alter egos can live in harmony.

 

 

December 19, 2013

Reflective Essay Table of Contents

Clicking here will filter my Jurassic Coast blog posts and only display the ones which I consider to contain reflective writing. You may notice that the total number of words accumulated here far surpasses the word limit of 2000, but please bear in mind that not all the text found within this section should be considered as reflective.

The posts in this section are in reverse chronological order, which is typical for a blog. If you would prefer to view my progress in a more linear narrative, you may follow my table of contents as follows:

December 9, 2013

Advertising the open air film festival

The final stage for my open air film festival idea is advertising.

As I highlighted in a previous post, becoming part of the Purbeck Film Festival would be beneficial in that a lot of the advertising would have already been done by the charity organisation. Also cross promotion at other participating locations could boost attendance.

If joining the Purbeck Film Festival was not an option, posters in the local areas would be the next logical step. Though as I discovered in my interview with the Bridport Arts Centre, this can backfire as people could assume the advert is for a competing cinema in the same area. A clear advertising campaign would need to be created.

My target audience though, which could be referred to as “hipsters” (a counter-culture group) are traditionally anti-commercial. To combat this issue I would like to use an advertising model that has been very successful for secret bars in New York and other major cities, even here in the UK, London. The idea of these bars is to create a barrier of entry, you wouldn’t even know they existed unless you had previous knowledge of it. This gives people who have the knowledge a sense of elitism as they are in on the secret.
One example is PDT (please don’t tell) in New York. On the outside it looks like, and also functions as a hot dog bar. But if you step inside the telephone box inside the hot dog bar and press the buzzer just once, a voice will answer and you are then given access to the bar behind, stepping through the secret door inside the telephone box.
This idea works because it is a badly kept secret, humans by nature love to share secrets with each other. By targeting just a few influential people the “secret” open air cinema, by word of mouth this information would spread and reach just my target audience, not everyone who would see a public poster.

 

References

Newyork.cbslocal.com. 2013. Pssst: The 5 Best Secret Bars in New York – CBS New York. [online] Available at: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/top-lists/pssst-the-best-secret-bars-in-new-york/ [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].

December 6, 2013

Professional Studies Assignment 1 – Sixth Post: Jo Lush

On November 21st, we were visited by a digital media project manager and Bournemouth University interactive media production graduate Jo Lush.

Jo told us a lot about how her career evolved after graduating from Bournemouth University. The most interesting part of Jo’s presentation to me was the use of development methods in the professional industry.

Iterative_development_model_V2

At university we are encouraged to use an iterative development method. The advantages of a method like this are quite obvious, by working over the design again and again, more problems can arise and be dealt with before the product deployment. This process of backtracking can be very important to bringing a high level of polish and professionalism to the final outcome.

Despite this, Jo tells us that most agencies use the Waterfall method.

800px-Waterfall_model.svg

 

This method has a lot in common with the iterative method, most of the steps are identical. The main difference being there is not backtracking involved. If a problem arises it is fixed along the way and production continues. The closest thing to backtracking is the maintenance step, this is mainly to fix faults and improve performance. Jo tells us the reason why the waterfall method is for more popular is because the lack of time teams are given on each project.
Jo states that most digital artefacts are created this way, and compares the method to that of building a house :

  • you can’t draw the plans until you know what you want
  • you can’t start building it until you have the blueprints (wireframes)
  • you can’t put the walls in without the foundations
  • you can’t decorate until you’ve built the walls (design, UI)
  • you can’t move in until its all been signed off by the building inspector (bug and beta testing)

I understand the benefits of an iterative design method, and with the necessary time I think it is typically the best choice. But I haves doubts that this is a good method to be taught to new students due to the lack of adoption in the real professional world, using the waterfall method for preparing myself for a career after graduation may be more beneficial to me.

 

References

Wikipedia. 2013. Iterative and incremental development. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iterative_and_incremental_development [Accessed: 9 Dec 2013].

Wikipedia. 2013. Waterfall model. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterfall_model [Accessed: 9 Dec 2013].

November 27, 2013

Jurassic Coast Pitch Presentation

Click here to see the pitch presentation for my open air film festival idea.

For my pitch presentation, I used my previous What, Why, How presentation and added some additional artefacts.
The first being the mock-up video of  a movie trailer being projected on a cliff face (click here to see separate post).

Additionally I included some alternative uses for the same projection technology:

cliffgames

The ability to play video games, particularly multiplayer games could be quite successful. Social gaming is very popular, a quick search on meetup.com for video game meetups in the UK will yield quite a few results for just London alone. (http://videogame.meetup.com/cities/gb/17/london/)

dinocave

Another possibility I brought up in my presentation was projections that used the surrounding environment to further enhance the viewing experience. The example in the mock up image is a tailor made educational dinosaur video that uses a cave wall as part of the mise-en-scene. According to NeuroNet Learning, interactive learning may boost memory skills. The other advantage of being inside a cave is that it is always dark, therefore younger viewers would not need to wait until night time to be able to experience the shows.
Enhancing the experience could also just be choosing films that fit the location. James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) would fit nicely with the sounds of the waves behind the audience or Robert Zemeckis’s Cast Aways (2000) would be well suited to a beach.

 

This additional ideas bring expandability to the initial film festival idea, but for purpose of this brief I am going to focus on just the film idea alone. Initially starting a new event without a focussed direction could be detrimental to the success of the project. According to the entrepreneurs at about.com “multitasking is the enemy of small business owner productivity“, and I would also need to alter my target audience for these additional ideas. I feel the initial film idea also fits better with ExLab’s image “ExLab is a ground-breaking arts programme along the Jurassic Coast”, of course art is completely subjective, but film is probably a safer start than gaming.

References:

art and science on the coast….. 2013. art and science on the coast…... [online] Available at: http://exlab.org.uk/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Cast Away. 2000. [film] Robert Zemeckis.

Neuronetlearning.com. 2013. Interactive Learning Environments May Boost Preschoolers’ Memory Skills – NeuroNet Learning. [online] Available at: http://neuronetlearning.com/blog/interactive-learning-environments-may-boost-preschoolers-memory-skills/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Titanic. 1997. [film] James Cameron.

Videogame.meetup.com. 2013. Video Games Meetups near London, England – Meetup. [online] Available at: http://videogame.meetup.com/cities/gb/17/london/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

York, M. 2013. Multitasking is the Enemy of Small Business Owner Productivity. [online] Available at: http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/beyondstartup/a/Multitasking-Is-The-Enemy-Of-Small-Business-Owner-Productivity.htm [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

November 22, 2013