Interactive Digital Project

taxidermistplateSoftware and s/w Development

Nov 7, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Valeria Pivovarova

Major Studio: Interface Design

Final Project Proposal

Interactive Digital Project


Summary of the project

Today we are surrounded by information, coming from 2D video narrative on TV, in
movie theaters and on s
treets, which is constant and cannot be changed by demand. But
what if there will be a completely new narrative concept that allows you to change what
you see in the way you want at anytime? This project is an interactive narrative projected
in public spac
e that can be instantly modified by people around using mobile technology.

A projection of code modified custom images on the wall or on the façade of building at
the specifically chosen public space will be developed as a prototype for Participatory
ection idea.

Project Keywords

Space, 3D, interactive, code, narrative, projection, animation, cell phone, image, MMS,
video, event, performance, public, instant change, new experience.


Main goal

The goal of Participatory Projection

is to provide a way for users of mobile technology to
actively engage their public space in a playful way. By integrating interactive narrative
forms into public spaces, viewers will be able to take an active role in the stories that are
told around them.

This is the way to bring a new experience along with a new
technology into everyday life and traditional perception of time based narrative.

Design question

In the modern age of twenty first century, where people obsessed with customization of
every asp
ect of their life, we still use hundred years old concept of narrative presentation,
that is non changeable in time and space.

This project seeks to answer the question of whether users will engage in a new
interactive system of narratives in public space.

Social oriented goal

Participatory Projection seeks to create a meaningful dialog between consumers of media
messages, and the messages themselves. By introducing input from viewers, the creators
of messages displayed in public spaces can become more mean
ingful, effective, and
enjoyable for consumers, as well as the creators.

Target audience

The Participatory Projection presented in public space, therefore a definition of a target
user can vary depending on place, country and culture.

The target audience
for Participatory media in USA consist of people, who is interested
in interactive environment and willing to get new experience; 15
25 year
olds in an urban

The reason why target audience is limited to young people, and students in particular
, is
that Participatory Projection requires a minimum set of skills, like using Bluetooth or
sending MMS message from a cell phone.

Research Precedents

Researching on my subject, I found a lot of precedents on engaging public spaces using
live interactive

projections. The most popular type of projection is movement tracking,
when content changes depending on moving pedestrians.

The work of Feed Tank, an interactive installation company in New York City, provides
a number of precedents for how users can be
encouraged to engage in the media that is
displayed about them in an urban environment.<> One of their
projects is Dance Floor Moves

a colorful projected interactive floor that reacts, when
someone moves over it.< http://www.feedta>

Another example is a huge shadow play on the giant Shibuya wall next to a parking lot
called Big Shadow, interactive projection for Microsoft’s Blue Dragon campaign set up
in Tokyo by IMG SRC and NON
GRID inc. on winter 2006. It is enhanc
ing and
deforming shadows of moving pedestrians, and transforming them into giant shadow
creatures playing on the wall. To add more interactivity to the project a special website
was built for users who are willing to create their own creatures and watch t
hem via live
feed. That project is a great example of engaging public space by using empty wall that
needs some more character. <>

The work of Evan Roth and James Powderly, of the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) is as
relevant and

important to today’s urban culture as any interactive artist could be. The
December 2007 issue of Esquire names them among the “best and brightest artists of
2007.” <

GRL Graffiti Analysis p
roject explores relationships between traditional graffiti and
experimental digital street art. Graffiti Analysis uses motion tracking to show movement
of graffiti artists in process of creating a tag and projects that motion on the facades of

.A.S.E.R TAG project encourage people to play by projecting graphics based on hand
writing. Gigantic words and tags written with laser pen appear on city walls to change its
face. <>

By establishing a way for people to interac
t with public space in a non
destructive way,
the GRL has opened doors to distributed conversations in media, without the destructive
aspects of graffiti, that previously hindered the proliferation of two
way media in public

Another project coming
from Parsons is TXTual Healing.
<> It’s a way to involve people in interactive street
performance by giving them an opportunity to write their own story on the street wall
with SMS.

This project is the closest example to the Pa
rticipatory Projection with its mobile phone
technology orientation. While TXTual Healing utilizes SMS technology to populate the
walls of buildings, the Participatory Projection project seeks to use the popular
technology of MMS in the same way to display

images and video.

Development Process


Prototype for Participatory Projection idea will be developed as a part of a final project
for Major Studio: Interface class in MFA Design and Technology program. This project
is four weeks long and requires
a timeline in order to be finished by announced date.

1 week 11.25

Idea development

Research Precedents

Research Technology

2 week 12.2

Cell phone / computer connection research,


Software research, code example

first draft.

Paper first draft

3 week 12.9

First presentation

Code writing, improvement

Prototype first test, improvement

Paper and first test documentation finished

4 week 12.16
12.22 Prototype second test, results documentation

Final Presentation

Idea development

The idea for Participatory Pro
jection started from my research on software for interactive
performance after The Invitation/ Rubber Boots Project that was a part of Major Studio:
Interface class.<http://the>

I liked the idea of engaging people to interac
t in public space by using my installation.

The idea of changeable interactive narrative came from my 3D Modeling and Creativity
and Computation classes, where I was shown a lot of examples of interactive digital

Mobile technology was explo
red by me in Creativity and Computation Lab class and was
chosen as one of the most common and fast growing technologies in urban environment
of present days.<>

Initially I had a list of software that can be possibly used f
or Participatory Projection
prototype development.

First software in my list was VVVV as a tool for real
time motion graphics, audio and
video interactive systems. It uses a graphical programming language for easy prototyping
that is really important when

you have such a short period for production.

The second option on my list was Processing, an open source programming language and
environment that has a lot of potential for prototype development.
> I have some previous experience with Processing.

The last option was NodeBox. It is a free application for creating interactive, animated
2D visuals with a lot of documentation and an extensive Core Image Library that allows
manipulating images through Python programming commands.
<> NodeBox was chosen for prototype development; I have
some experience with Python and this software satisfies all requirements for the project.

Prototype development

e development started with research on cell phone technology and MMS in
particular. Nokia N70 mobile phone was chosen for prototype testing.

During my work on file transfer between cell phone and computer I researched on
Symbian S60: open mobile operating
system and developing applications for Symbian
OS. Numerous websites were visited for that purpose:


The hardest part of the development process was to make images loading dynamically
into computer and NodeBox software from participant’s cell phones.

I started working with MMS and tried to load rece
ived images dynamically to computer
via mobile browser, that is a part of Nokia PC suit installation
<>, but it turned out to be more difficult for MMS
messages. MMS functions are not entirely integrated into cell phone def
ault functionality,
so this operation requires additional coding. <>

Second step was to write a code for that operation using Mobile Processing
<>, but researching on it I found that there’s not enough
functionality bu
ild in Mobile Processing to finish required code in time, that was
designated for this part of the project.

Next step was to move away from the MMS technology and look at the problem from
different perspectives. That is when I decided to use Bluetooth tech
nology for the same
purpose. Bluetooth has one big advantage: it is free to use and that is nearly perfect,
considering my target audience: students, 15

25 year
olds. The main disadvantage of
Bluetooth standard is a short range of wireless connectivity;
the sending and receiving
devices must be within a range of 10 meters, if using a built in device. With an external
device the range can be extended to 1 kilometer.
<> For the prototype testing the range of
build in

device will be enough.

The code part of the prototype is straightforward although there were numerous problems
along the way. Chosen software, the NodeBox, is designed for image or PDF output and
does not provide much support for interactivity.
<http://n> There for it was quite an issue to code
the dynamic data load from cell phone. A lot of time was spent on retrieving pixel
information from submitted images. Another problem was to assign a specific order in
which im
ages will be modified and projected. All problems were successfully solved in
the given time.

There are some examples from the first prototype test


Participatory Projection is designed for use in public space and initially requires people’s

interaction with it. It is meant to be shown in real
world but not on the paper.

Participatory Projection is built on user input and could be used in real
world in many
different ways.

Prototype that was developed for demonstration and test purposes coul
d be evolved into a
big project or application to be used in large public spaces.

It could be maintained in stadiums like interactive information visualization, used in
advertising or entertainment purposes. People can use it over the break between two
me periods to exchange information or for interactive play.

Subway stations could utilize this interactive system for their services and entertainment.

Schools and other educational organizations could benefit from interactive narrative
visualization syst
em that is based on Participatory Projection idea.