SCI Universe is a large-format touch-based interface designed for the lobby of the new Interactive Media Building at USC School of Cinematic Arts. This interface provides an overview of current activity in the building through both environmental and inhabitant data.
Emerge·LA is a research project at USC that looks at the changing nature of Los Angeles and its many neighborhoods, designed to give you a voice and us a sense of what is important to you about the city we live in.
MobZombies is a zombie-fleeing game where a player’s movement controls an avatar in the game space. Players run away from virtual zombies by actually running. The objective of the game is simple: stay alive as a horde of the undead slowly moves towards you. The longer you stay alive, the more zombies appear and the better they get at following you.
In the Interactive Media Division at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, we experimented to find ways networked communication could augment and amplify the content of classroom education, promoting collaborative processing and retention.
If a building could talk, what would it say? How would it “feel” about the comings and goings of the people who use it every day? Would it be affected by their moods and desires? What kind of relationship would it have with its occupants if it could communicate with them somehow, and how would they respond?
PUCK investigates changing spatial character and the resulting experience of place in the context of Interactive Architecture. As buildings become dynamic generators of data and information, they have the opportunity to use their embedded technological systems to play a more collaborative role in an inhabitants’ experience of space and place.
The Mobile and Environmental Media Lab is currently exploring location-specific mobile storytelling. This research investigates the idea of ambient storytelling and how the built environment can act as a storytelling entity that engages and interacts with people in specific spaces. Development of personalized responsive environments arise as people spend time in these spaces and build a relationship with the spaces they spend time in every day. By integrating context-aware interactions and access to backstory about an environment, ambient stories emerge and can be accessed through mobile and pervasive computing technologies and applications.
Our current research concepts came out of early research about new models for mobile advertising in which the goal was to create compelling experiences in contrast to the current state of mobile advertising, which relies on banner ads or text messages. The idea of backstory, location and context-specific information about products and objects became a recurrent theme when thinking about new forms of advertising. This became the groundwork for our current research into ambient and mobile storytelling.
In addition, the practice of lifelogging, or documenting and broadcasting one’s daily activities with wearable computing devices, has been another topic of our research. However, instead of people documenting their activities, we are focusing on designing lifelogs for the built environment. These lifelogs for physical spaces combine various building, environmental and human sensor data, as well as collaboratively-authored character development. These elements, when combined, create the groundwork for ambient, mobile storytelling.