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Own practice: Radiomap

Part of this interdisciplinary and practise based research was the creation of an immersive telematic environment, both as a work of art in its own right - and as a research instrument.

I have a basic understanding of programing (Lingo and Java, not PHP or perl), know what is possible (most of the times) and i have got a good intuition during debugging. But this task was much too ambitious. So i needed some help for this piece.
Stephan Huber http://www.digitalmind.de programmed the current version of radiomap. Stephan is a friend and colleague i studied with at the University of the Arts Berlin and he is an experienced programer and media designer.
The software consists of basically two modules: The tracker application that tracks people in the space by a camera that is located on the ceiling, looking down. And the main application that receives the stream of positions, translates it to an augmented "Point of Interest" and compares the location of the PoI to locations of radiostations in the database.
Once the PoI "snaps" to a radio station the live radio stream starts playing.

Stephan developed the application very adaptable so i could use the same application for the screen based Pilot-Study as for the real environment. Just a few changes in the xml settings.

The idea was to build it from scratch in Processing, C++ or Java but after evaluating the task it became clear that it is too much work and would require too much time.
So now both the Tracker and the Radiomap have been developed in Macromedia Director MX 2004 as proposed in the original paper. It is quite a challenge as what is promised on box is not possible. Among many annoying problems there are a view fundamental ones: There is no full control of multiple streaming sources, not even of a single one. It is impossible to adjust the volume of the streaming radio (without using the system volume) as streams are located at channel "0". Trying to use anything else then .ra (RealAudio) as wmv, mp3, or qt runs _very_ unstable - to say the least. Everything runs very unstable on Mac OSX - and we were forced to fall back to a PC. Which is sad as we have a high performance G5 available. Stephan had to find many workarounds - energy that would have been better invested in refining the interface and behaviours ...

Radiomap application

radiomap screen-based

The screenbased version of radiomap. Started in 1997 it currently is in the focus of my research interests. The screenbased application is a prototype. In interviews participants reported a sense of "interconnectedness" and "viewing the world from space", so my expectations where quite right.
None of this would be possible without xplanet. A big thanks to Hari Nair!

Radiomap environment

radiomap, immersive telematic environment

The first version of this interactive environment, created in collaboration with my friend and colleague Stephan Huber, enables one or more individuals to walk about a projected photorealistic image of the Earth (Mercator projection, (8x4m) and listen to live internet radio broadcasts that are located at the corresponding locations. The interaction is simple and intuitive. This research project is exploring the experiential qualities of interactive environments, especially those that may be described as creating effects of presence, global awareness, holistic overview and feeling of interconnectedness.

last update: 11/9/02008 13:50

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