Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 25th Release Date: Play and Experiment with Music on your iPad/Phone/Pod with NodeBeat iOS Music Sequencer by Affinity Blue, by Seth Sandler and Justin Windle

If you love music and have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you'll have fun exploring and experimenting with NodeBeat. As soon as I get my iPad, I plan to get this app! 

"NodeBeat is an experimental node-based audio sequencer and generative music application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. NodeBeat is designed to let you create a variety of rhythmic sequences and ambient melodies in an intuitive fashion. It is scheduled for release on April 25th." -Affinity Blue

NodeBeat - iOS Music Sequencer from AffinityBlue on Vimeo.

NodeBeat is a collaboration between Seth Sandler and Justin Windle. It was developed using openFrameworks, with PureData for audio synthesis.  According to the NodeBeat website, "Octaves and Notes make up the two types of nodes. Octaves pulse and send messages to Notes within proximity. Each Octave is assigned a random octave and each Note, a random note; therefore, a Note will play in several octaves depending on the Octave it's connected to. Pause nodes to create your own beats or let them roam free to have them generate their own." Features include adjustable node physics, node add/remove, pitch shift, adjustable pulse rate and beat sync, adjustable echo, attack, decay, and release for creative sound sculpting, and for the iPad, audio waveform display and landscape/portrait views.

NodeBeat website
Seth Sandler's posts about music
Seth's posts and videos about AudioTouch, and interactive multi-touch interfaces for computer music exploration and collaboration.
Soulwire (Justin Windle's blog)

Cross posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology and TechPsych blogs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pervasive Retail Part I: Web UX Meets Retail CX - Screens Large and Small at the Mall, Revisited

If you follow my blog(s), you know that I have a passion for interactive displays in public spaces, and that I enjoy watching how various technologies converge, jump across platforms and devices, inter-operate, and re-purpose over time.  

The best places for watching this unfold, in my opinion, are airports, malls, shopping districts,  and larger "big box" establishments, where the Web meets Digital Out of Home (DOOH), old-fashioned kiosks morph into multi-touch screens and gesture-based windows, and visual merchandising meets technology, digital culture, architecture, and consumer metrics.  At the center of it all is the user/consumer - regular people, moms, dads, kids, teens, the elderly, the disabled, the hurried and the worried. Adding to the complexity is that an increasing number of people who are out-and-about are tethered to various mobile devices.

In scholarly tech circles, the concept of DOOH is known "Pervasive Retail".  The explosion of mobile devices and ubiquitous screens has fueled the fire for research, and is the focus of the current issue of IEEE's Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing.   

Despite the influx of technology, no-one is exactly sure how to do it quite right.  (I have some ideas, which I'll save for a future post.)

If you are interested in learning more about concepts related to "pervasive retail", the Retail Customer Experience website is a treasure trove of information related to DOOH, digital signage, multi-channel retailing, in-store media, kiosks, interactive touch screens and windows, related metrics, and more, with stories about real-life technology implementation.

The following video, taken with my handy HTC Incredible, provides a quick sampling of the screens I encountered during a recent visit to South Park Mall, in Charlotte, N.C.  The last screens in the clip were taken in the Brookstone store, and will be included in another clip that focuses solely on all of the screens that were scattered about the retail space.  

I have a hunch that some of the smaller displays in the Brookstone store were iPads.  iPads and tablets have great potential for use for shelf-level in-store interactive visual merchandising deployments, given the right apps and mounting systems. (See iPads as Cheap Digital Signage, by Tony Hymes of DOOHSocial and the video about Premier's iPad mounts, for more information.)

Much of what you'll see in the following video, taken at the same mall in December of 2009, wasn't around during my most recent trip:
Screens Large and Small at the Mall

Interactive Coke Machine and Kid at the Mall

I was sad to see that the interactive screen on the Coke machine  had been replaced by an ordinary one.  Part of the problem, I think, is that the interactive display was too busy and as a consequence, made the goal getting a quick drink a bit too complicated for the average thirsty customer, as seen in the video below:

Touch Screen Coke Machine at the Mall: 90 seconds to get a coke!


Previous Posts:
What is DOOH and Why Should We Care?

Interactive Visual Merchandising, Interactive Window-Shopping at Nordstrom, Downtown Seattle:  "Writing with Light"
Window Shopping in the Web Outside:  Interactive Window Displays (videos and links)
Close Encounter with "Best Buy On": Example of a multi-channel marketing approach using in-store media and an online magazine 
Video: Gesture Interactive Window Display at Repetto Store in France, by the Marcel Agency
The World Is My Web Browser: Interactive Technology in Public Spaces

References and Resources (Partial List)
Fujitsu's Pervasive Retailing (pdf)
Ron Brunt, InTouch with Retailing Whitepaper, 1/15/06
When all the world is a screen
Brian Monahan, IPG Emerging Media Blog, 4/15/11
When all the world is a screen (The video is worth taking the time to watch.)

Narayanswami, C.,  Kruger, A.,  Marmasse, N. Pervasive Retail, IEEE Pervasive Computing
April-June 2011 (Vol. 10, No. 2) pp. 16-18 1536-1268/11/$26.00 © 2011 IEEE 
References from the Pervasive Retail article:
Mobile Retail Blueprint, Nat'l Retail Federationwww.nrf.commodules.php?name=Pages&op=viewlive&sp_id=1268 .
G. Belkin, Pervasive Retail Business Intelligence, Aberdeen Group, Apr. 2010; pervasive-retail-business-intelligence .
R. Wasinger, A. Krüger, and O. Jacobs, "Integrating Intra and Extra Gestures into a Mobile and Multimodal Shopping Assistant,"Proc. 3rd Int'l Conf. Pervasive Computing (Pervasive), Springer, 2005, pp. 297–314.
A. Meschtscherjakov et al., "Enhanced Shopping: A Dynamic Map in a Retail Store," Proc. 10th Int'l Conf. Ubiquitous Computing(UbiComp 08), ACM Press, 2008, pp. 336–339.
C. Stahl and J. Haupert, "Taking Location Modelling to New Levels: A Map Modelling Toolkit for Intelligent Environments," Proc. Int'l Workshop Location- and Context-Awareness (LoCA), LNCS 3987, Springer, 2006, pp. 74–85.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Revisiting Aether: The Journal of Media Geography, an on-line publication (includes links)

Aether is an on-line publication that focuses on the emerging and converging field of geographic media.  Given my interest in interactive multimedia technology and the fact that Social Science was one of my undegraduate majors, it makes sense that many of the topics covered in Aether would appeal to me. I discovered Aether about a year or so ago, and shared some information about it in the following post: Aether- The Journal of Media Geography (A Convergence of Disciplines).  

Aether  is hosted by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Northridge.   In addition to the on-line publication, Aether has a blog, "Aether, The Blog of Media Geography", which is a great resource about workshops, events, and resources related to the focus of the publication. 

Since a good number of the readers of this blog are graduate students, I decided to take the time to include in this post information and links that might be helpful to someone gathering information on a deeper level. 

"Aether offers a forum that examines the geography of media, including cinema, television, the Internet, music, art, advertising, newspapers and magazines, video and animation. It is our goal to provide a space for contributions to current issues surrounding these media, beginning with constructions of space and place, cultural landscapes, society, and identity."

"We invite inquiries into the production, distribution, exhibition, and consumption of all types of media and thus we will offer critical, pedagogical and discursive content that views the world in new and exciting ways. We welcome submissions from anyone wishing to publish material that extends the boundaries of the traditional academic journal. We encourage work that is highly visual or aural, including video, and will actively promote material that makes use of our digital technologies."

I appreciate the fact that Aether's editors value the importance of using multimedia representation in scholarly research, embodied in the following quote from the introduction of Volume 3:
"All too often we remain wedded to textuality when it comes to presenting our research.  However, as we move further into a world of advance capitalism driven by new information technologies and spaces of flow, streams of innovations, knowledge and ideas are increasingly circulated in non-textual formats. Academic geographers have long dabbled in video technology and the production of documentaries...We strongly encourage and support the use of multimedia productions in our journal and we hope we can offer an acceptable venue for those seeking to transcend (and even transgress) the knowledge-limiting restraints of traditional academic publications." - Jim Craine, Jason Dittmer, and Chris Lukinbeal, Aether, Volume Three

One of the good things about Aether is that all of the volumes can be freely downloaded from the website.  For the convenience of knowledge-junkies,  I've posted links to the past seven volumes, along with information/links about the editors and editorial board of Aether.  

Volume Seven | Fall, 2010
Theme: Space and Sound: "Geographies of Music, Geographers Who Play Music"

Volume Six | October 2010

Volume Five a | March, 2010 (Edited by Tristan Thielmann)
Theme: Locative Media
"This special issue of Aether, edited by Tristan Thielmann, explores the spatial turn in media studies and the media turn in geographical studies, providing a sketch of the subject area “geomedia” from a phenomenological perspective and the field of “media geography” from a disciplinary perspective."

Volume Four | March, 2009
Theme: The Geography of Journalism (Edited by Mike Gasher)
"This special issue of Aether brings together six papers that address news geography on a range of scales. Each speaks to the question of how the news media position the people and places that constitute their particular communities."

Volume Three | June, 2008
"One of the main reasons Aether was developed as an ejournal was to offer authors alternative publishing outlets– something that went beyond the textural format of both traditional hard journals and text-based ejournals. Volume Three presents the first articles that justify these editorial goals."

Volume Two | April, 2008
Theme:  Imagining Geography Through Interactive Media
"This special issue of Aether offers an examination of the utopian and dystopian representations of digital landscapes including narratives of colonialism, gaming as social space and the influence of historical ideologies on social game space plus much more."

Volume One | November, 2007
"The premiere issue of Aether consists of a series of short essays by members of the editorial board. Each explores the author's personal interests in Media Geography and discusses the future direction of the field."

Aether's "Who's Who"
Review Editor

Giorgio Hadi Curti

San Diego State University


Jim Craine

California State University, Northridge

Jason Dittmer

University College London

Chris Lukinbeal

The University of Arizona

Shawna Dark, Director
Center for Geographical Studies

Department of Geography

California State University, Northridge

David Deis

Staff Cartographer

Department of Geography

California State University, Northridge

Editorial Board
Paul C. Adams • University of Texas at Austin
Stuart C. Aitken • San Diego State University
David B. Clarke • Swansea University
Christina Dando • University of Nebraska, Omaha
Deborah Dixon • Aberystwyth University
Marcus Doel • Swansea University
Colin R. Gardner • University of California, Santa Barbara
Ken Hillis • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sarah F. Ives • Stanford University
Ed Jackiewicz • California State University, Northridge
John Paul Jones III • University of Arizona
Christina Kennedy • Northern Arizona University
Minelle Mahtani • University of Toronto
Susan Mains • University of the West Indies, Mona
Kevin McHugh • Arizona State University
Christopher M. Moreno • San Diego State University
Wolfgang Natter • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Joseph Palis • University of the Philippines

Brent J. Piepergerdes • University of Kansas
Rob Shields • University of Alberta
Amy Siciliano • University of Wisconsin
Paul F. Starrs • University of Reno, Nevada
Dan Sutko • North Carolina State University
Jonathan Taylor • California State University, Fullerton
Stefan Zimmermann • University of Mainz
Leo Zonn • University of Texas

Aether's "Special Thanks"
Stella Theodoulou, Dean • The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

California State University, Northridge

Darrick Danta, Chair • Department of Geography

California State University, Northridge

Paul Adams, Communication Geography Specialty Group

Department of Geography and the Environment 
University of Texas, Austin

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gesture + Multitouch Interactive Media Wall, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 2011 Award of Excellence, Digital Screenmedia Association

Below is a video of an interactive media wall at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the winner of the  2011 Award of Excellence from the  Digtal Screenmedia Association in the category of Best Government/Education/Non-Profit Agency Deployment.  

Detailed information about the Discovery Wall, including an overview of the technology, objectives of the deployment, and the positive outcomes of his project can be found on the Digital Screenmedia website.   

"Float4 Interactive is a creative technology company that develops interactive systems for entertainment, advertising and design applications."

Interactive technology: Float4 Interactive
Content: Zebra Dog
AV Integration: R2W
Concept: Sensory Interactive

DISCOVERY WALL: 10 X 4 Christie MicroTiles
5496 X 1650 resolution
Gesture + MultiTouch Interaction
2 X RealMotion Servers

ENTRANCE PORTAL 17 X 2 Christie MicroTiles
9824 X 866 resolution
Multi-Zone Gesture Interaction
2 X RealMotion Servers

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery: 2011 Excellence Award, Architainment 
Live Design, 3/21/10
Architainment Examples
Christie MicroTiles Drive Fan Experience at new Nascar Hall of Fame
Nascar Hall of Fame (I live in the Charlotte area, so I'll visit the Nascar Hall of Fame soon and check out the Christie MicroTiles display soon!)
Miami Dolphins Choose Montreal's Arsenal Media and Float4 Interactive for Fan-Focused Interactive Wall at SunLife Stadium (BuzzWall) Arsenal Media, 12/16/10

Link: Where Digital Signage Software is Going

Here is a interesting post about DOOH from David Haynes of Sixteen:Nine

David Haynes, Sixteen:Nine

The Preset Group
Five Second Media

Cross-posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Immersive Cocoon Interaction: "It's people who are now the interface"

"It's people who are now the interface." -Ole Bowman, cultural and architectural historian

I found the above quote from the Immersive Cocoon website and smiled.

When I first learned about the Immersive Cocoon in 2008, I thought it was just another technological fancy that probably would not come to market anytime soon.  Although it still is in the concept stage, I think it has a chance of making it, given the rapid advances in interactive technology over the past few years.

It wouldn't surprise me to see i-Cocoons finding a place in libraries, educational settings, museums, and other public spaces within the next 5-8 years, given an economic turnaround.

What is the Immersive Cocoon?
"The Immersive Cocoon is a future concept study by Tino Schaedler with design collective NAU; an idea to push the envelope and provoke a new conception of interface technology...Directed and 3D CG by Oliver Zeller. More info, behind the scenes and full credits at"

What is inside the cocoon?


Teaser Video:

"Please play fullscreen and LOUD! ...This spec teaser reveals an evolution in computing interaction, within a setting inspired by the penultimate scene from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey...Starring that film's lead actor, Keir Dullea; "2011" was developed over a two year period. Live action was filmed multi-camera, against green screen atop a backlit plexi floor on a shoestring budget. Mr. Dullea was then integrated into an entirely digitally created CG set rendered at 1080HD."

Here are some previous videos about the iCocoon concept:

Immersive Cocoon Concept Website
Designers developing virtual-reality 'Cocoon'
Mark Tutton, 9/12/08, Telepresence Options /Human Productivity Lab
Immersive Cocoon-Facebook
"NAU is an international, multidisciplinary design firm, spanning the spectrum from architecture and interior design to exhibitions and interactive interfaces. As futurists creating both visual design and constructed projects, NAU melds the precision of experienced builders with the imagination and attention to detail required to create innovative exhibits, public events and architecture."
Concerning interactive technology, things have changed a bit in my corner of the world - as I write this post, there is a Kinect beckoning me to dance in my bonus room. The Kinect was something that came to market much sooner than I expected.  I'll have an iPad2 sometime in the near future- another example of how rapidly things are evolving. I skim the news by touch/swiping my now-outdated HTC Incredible.  My 88-year-old aunt, has used Skype more than once to "chat" with her baby great-nephew across the miles.

I use a Wii at work at least once a week to support social interaction skills with some students who have moderate-to-severe autism. Every classroom in the main school I serve has a huge, immersive, interactive whiteboard that relies on touch and kinesthetic interaction-my colleagues can't imagine going back to teaching without them.  

Cross-posted on the Interactive Multimedia Technology blog.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recent Interactive Multimedia Blog Post Links

Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces: Call for Papers and Notes (6th Annual ACM ITS 2011 November 13-16)
Call for Papers: Touch the Web 2011: 2nd International Workshop on Web-Enabled Objects
Links:  Web of Things, Web Patterns and the EPC Cloud, Windows 8 Rumors, Human Centered Service Design
Virtual History of Rome for the iPad, Created with Unity
Program - CHI 2011 Child Computer Interaction: 2nd Workshop on UI Technologies and Educational Pedagogy 

FYI: If you are new to this blog, my main blog is Interactive Multimedia Technology (IMT).  I update this blog with links to posts on the IMT blog every month or so.   I will resume this blog in this once I reduce my current workload.

If you are interested in technology, psychology, and education, take a look at my TechPsych blog.


Thanks to Johannes Schöning for sharing this information!

6th Annual ACM Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2011
ITS 2011
November 13-16, 2011
Portopia Hotel, Kobe, Japan
The Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces 2011 Conference (ITS) is a premiere venue for presenting research in the design and use of new and emerging tabletop and interactive surface technologies. As a new community, we embrace the growth of the discipline in a wide variety of areas, including innovations in ITS hardware, software, design, and projects expanding our understanding of design considerations of ITS technologies and of their applications.

Building on their success in previous years, ITS again features Papers and Notes presentations, as well as tutorials, posters, demonstrations tracks and a doctoral symposium. ITS 2011 will also include workshops.

ITS 2011 will bring together top researchers and practitioners who are interested in both the technical and human aspects of ITS technology. On behalf of the conference organizing committee, we invite you to begin planning your submissions and participation for this year's conference!

The use of interactive surfaces is an exciting and emerging research area. Display technologies, such as projectors, LCD and OLED flat panels, and even flexible display substrates, coupled with input sensors capable of enabling direct interaction, make it reasonable to envision a not-so-distant future in which many of the common surfaces in our environment will function as digital interactive displays. ITS brings together researchers and practitioners from a variety of backgrounds and interests, such as camera and projector based systems, new display technologies, multi-touch sensing, user interface technologies, augmented reality, computer vision, multimodal interaction, novel input and sensing technologies, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and information visualization.

The intimate size of this single-track symposium provides an ideal venue for leading researchers and practitioners to exchange research results and experiences. We encourage submissions on (but not limited to) the following topic areas as they relate to interactive tabletops and surfaces:

* Gesture-based interfaces
* Multi-modal interfaces
* Tangible interfaces
* Novel interaction techniques
* Data handling/exchange on large interactive surfaces
* Data presentation on large interactive surfaces
* Software engineering methods
* Computer supported collaborative work
* Middleware and network support
* Virtual reality and augmented reality
* Social protocols
* Information visualizations
* Hardware, including sensing and input technologies with novel capabilities
* Human-centered design & methodologies
* Applications

Conference Co-Chairs
Jun Rekimoto, The University of Tokyo / SonyCSL, Japan
Hideki Koike, University of Electro-Communications, Japan
Kentaro Fukuchi, Meiji University, Japan

Program Co-Chairs
Yoshifumi Kitamura, Tohoku University, Japan
Daniel Wigdor, University of Toronto, Canada

Papers/Notes: We invite paper submissions of two kinds: Papers (10 pages) and Notes (4 pages). Papers must present original, highly innovative, prospective and forward-looking research, possibly in one or more of the themes given above. Notes must also report novel and complete research, but where the scope and scale of the contribution is more focused and succinct than papers. Submissions must be submitted as a single PDF file in the ACM format through the submission system. A template for submissions can be found on the ITS

All accepted submissions will be presented at ITS 2011 and appear in the ITS digital proceedings and be archived in the ACM digital library.

Paper/Note Submissions: June 30, 2011
Paper/Note Author Notifications: September 2, 2011
Paper/Note Camera-Ready Deadline: October 21, 2011

The calls for the posters, demos, tutorials, workshops and the doctoral symposium will be published soon, please check our website for further information.

ITS 2010 Awards

Best Paper:Proxemic Interaction: Designing for a Proximity and Orientation-Aware Environment by Till Ballendat, Nicolai Marquardt, Saul Greenberg
Best Note:MudPad: Tactile Feedback and Haptic Texture Overlay for Touch Surfaces by  Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers
Best Poster:A Multi-Touch Alignment Guide for Interactive Displays by Mathias Frisch, Ricardo Langner, Sebastian Kleinau, Raimund Dachselt
Best Demo:MudPad - A Tactile Memory Game by Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers
Best Paper:Proxemic Interaction: Designing for a Proximity and Orientation-Aware Environment by Till Ballendat, Nicolai Marquardt, Saul Greenberg
Best Note:MudPad: Tactile Feedback and Haptic Texture Overlay for Touch Surfaces by Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers
Best Poster:A Multi-Touch Alignment Guide for Interactive Displays by Mathias Frisch, Ricardo Langner, Sebastian Kleinau, Raimund Dachselt
Best Demo:MudPad - A Tactile Memory Game by Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers

Who's Who
ITS 2010Conference General Chairs 
Johannes Schöning, DFKI GmbH
Antonio Krüger, DFKI GmbH 

ITS 2010 Organization Committee

Daniel Wigdor, one of the ITS 2011Program Co-chairs, co-authored the following book with Dennis Wixon. The book has not yet been released.
Brave NUI World: Designing User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture

Description: Description: Book Cover

Note: This post includes links, please let me know of anything I should correct.