Thursday, December 13, 2007

EUROPRIX Multimedia Top Talent Award 2008 (6)

Category: Interactive Installations & Interactive TV

The category Intercative installations & interactive TV searches for contents for new platforms and fully digitised environments with high level of interactivity. The category attracted 40 entries from 13 countries. The nominees selected were:
- Performative Ecologies
- Interactive Television Polling
- Alien Action
And the winner in the category is Performative Ecologies.

Title: Performative Ecologies
Producer: Ruairi Glynn (UK)
Performative Ecologies is a multimedia installation consisting of autonomous kinetic light sculptures which are capable of learning and communicating within a larger network. It examines the potential of responsive environments to engage in non-verbal communication and conversation. The sociable sculptures search and orientate themselves to face people in a room. Each head has a night vision camera on board transmitting to custom-made facial recognition software, designed to detect attention levels of human beings. Genetic algorithms enable the autonomous objects to learn how to attract and keep the audience’s attention. As the system learns, it adapts its behaviours and modifies its movements and lighting strategies for the next performance.

This project is about a new kind of digital ecology, one that invites action and reaction; proposition and response. The surprising thing is that not people but flying objects lead the dance. In a whimsical symbiotic interaction intelligence is shared and poetically amalgamates human kinetic experience to provide a new kind of computer-human relationship. Performative Ecologies is fabulously engineered and actually inspiring. The technology suggests that built environments could, to some level, learn how to provide more effective functional services such as environmental control or security beyond the visions of the original designers.

Title: Alien Action
Producer: Dominic B√ľnning, Ralph Heinsohn (Germany)
Alien Action exploits that digital dome projection is being installed in more and more locations worldwide, spreading from expo booths to special event installations. It tells the story of an invasion by extraterrestrial fighting robots and interactively projects cutting edge 3D animation and digital video onto a dome-shaped screen. The result is a bitter fight for supremacy. Each chapter in the narrative exploits a different media - 360° music video clips are followed by tense animation or humorous radio scenes. The audience is asked to shoot down the invaders in the manner of interactive video games by using a joystick. Inspired by science-fiction, Pop Art and music entertainment, Alien Action is ultimately an interpretation of the fantasies about space invasions as technology progressed through the last century.

The installation is a unique presentation of new media, combining state-of-the art 3D video animation techniques with seamless digital videos which are projected onto a semi-sphere shaped "canvas". Non-stop action and latest technical innovations in 3D real-time graphics places it definitely in the entertainment front, regardless of the generic plot concept. The producers are among the first wave of pioneers who have actually found a practical application of this new technology. It sets a great example for the aspirations of other ambitious producers – particularly since 3D graphics are becoming the leading technology in graphics creation and representation.

Title: Interactive Television Polling
Producer: Sam Hassan (UK)
Media format: ITV application
Interactive Television Polling provides an easy-to-use iTV interface and allows viewers to express in real time their opinions on the programmes they are watching, without the need for additional technology such as a telephone or the Internet. Quantitative and qualitative data are instantly gathered and presented. Commentators or presenters can utilise the information collected from the system in order to focus the current or future broadcasts on the viewers’ interests. The user interface is operated by the television production team and allows questions, messages and statistical information to be sent to the users. The iTV interface is operated by a digi-TV remote control and keyboard, allowing the audience to view and respond to questions or change the camera angle and audio commentary.

Within the context of recent scandals involving falsified interactive opinion polling using premium rate telephone numbers, Interactive Television Polling provides a compelling tool to re-establish credibility for published results using a traditional red button interactive TV interface. This system has been developed for the London 2012 Olympics. However, it could be utilised for other broadcasts since its use is not limited to sporting events. For example, reality shows could ask the audience for polls, game shows could allow viewers to play along at home, or news programmes could easily collect public opinion on current events.

Blog Posting Number: 949


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