I'm an interaction and experience designer - I've spent 15 years
working on this screen (computer), and the last 10 years working
on this screen (phone). But some of what I've been working on tries
to get away from the tyranny of the screen.
let's try and deﬁne what urban computing is...
action / reaction
well, at its most basic, we have actions causing reactions
input / output
or in computer terms, input and output
inputs / outputs
but it's more than that - a light switch has an input and output.
computers let us take many inputs and process them in many
and the processing is what computers are really good at
so this is the traditional computer: do stuff with distinctly weird
input mechanisms, and a blob moves on the screen
large databases /
so urban computing just extends that - many more sensors, many
more possible outputs + we can collate, store and process large
amounts of information
supermarkets have had barcode scanners for years - to tell you the
price. the next step is to tell you the price at competitors - and by
scanning your receipt how much money you saved on your total
shop. -> uses a tremendous amount of data and computation
this was an ad for Castrol - people hated seeing their numberplate
on the billboard (even if it's already on your car), and they worried
that somehow they knew what kind of car they had
Layar - using place and direction to work out what you're looking at
Japanese vending machines identify how old you are
NEC's EKI digital signage network can distinguish a person's sex and
companies can provide interactive advertisements "which meet the interest of people who use the station at a certain time,"
many cameras recognise smiles, blinks
this is not being in the world
three problems: people don't have strong arms, instant mugging
target, and you look like a dick
and alerts - people are used to receiving them - but don't overload
the urban computing cliche - "you walk past starbucks and get 5
cents off a latte"
screens are everywhere. they're being deployed really quickly,
especially in new public buildings (stations, airports)
in the UK, we don't have planning permission for movement in
traditional outdoor sites. Other cities have sold off the right to
install screens across the city. (thanks to Adam again for this video)
BT Tower - 850,000 lumens, visible for miles - too bright to
hand from above
Chris O'Shea's installation - reacts to people walking below
souped up Internet connected real time alarm clock - also interested
in 2nd screens next to the TV
3rd, 4th & 5th screens
turns out the fridge computer lot were right
artiﬁcial intelligence is dirt cheap (check out Argos or JCPenney
catalog - kid's toys have amazing intelligence)
your average compact camera recognises more faces than a 6 month
old baby. why do computers and phones need passwords any more?
It's never going to be perfect *and* real time. But I'm convinced
there's a lot we can do with constrained vocabularies.
vibration and touch - we can start to make electronic surfaces have
a "hand" or feel.
Haptic compass - had 12 cellphone vibra motors and the one
closest to north kicked occasionally. What's interest is that the body
internalises this really quickly - superpowers are easy to acquire.
projectors - big
we've all seen the videos of architectural mapping and projections
projectors - big
this is Robert Lepage's The Image Mill projection in Montreal
projectors - big
but (with few exceptions) we have the technology and no idea of
how to tell stories using it
projectors - small
why doesn't your alarm clock look like this?
nanoprojectors are information torches (and will be in your
creating and keeping data fresh is hard - but we need it to be real-time to feel interesting and
1 ad = 10,000 ads
if we can change what we show or say based on context, we're going
to need a lot more executions - maybe even written, distributed and
shown in real-time
how to scale
a lot of this currently only exists as events or location constrained
new forms of media
screens aren't vertical tv ads (or banner ads)
need new platforms
new platforms are emerging - but they're layers on top on phones
or computers (layar). platforms in the real-world (digital outdoor or
DOOH) are disconnected, small and all with different tech specs
need to understand
these new types of media need to be designed - we don't have
50-100 years of experience
entering the era of
you want a harry potter clock showing where people are? sure, no
you can read minds
(for a bit)
new technology that's magic quickly becomes mundane
hit the uncanny valley
the uncanny valley is a term from robotics - robots that seem
human but don't quite feel right - ﬁght or ﬂight. ads that shout your
name are exactly the same.
Matt Jones coined the term - Be as smart as a puppy.
If you can't be human, fail gracefully (with puppy dog eyes)
you'll still freak
it's a spectrum of understanding privacy concerns - "if we don't get
on the front page of the Daily Mail we're not trying hard enough"
bacn is the name for email you asked for but don't really want -
newsletters, offers, etc. If every company knows where you are, do
you want your phone vibrating every 5 yards? (this is a frame from
Keiichi Matsuda's Domestic Robocop ﬁlm)
discussions of public
& private realm
city by city, country by country there will be a reassessment of how
marketing and advertising impacts our daily lives
Teams of 3 or 4 or whatever.
Pick a brand.
Think of the what they could create in the real world -
public space, subway, in car, in store, screens, projections, apps
What context can we infer - place/places/time/time of day/
Push it as far into the future as possible.
Elevator pitch - 30 seconds
I want to know:
What data are they sensing / using? How does it manifest?
What do people experience? What's magic about it?
projecting on the moon