Peter Bennett is a researcher in human-computer interaction at the Bristol Interaction & Graphics Lab. His research is driven by the aim of joining the virtual world of digital bits with the real world of objects, and in doing so allowing people to physically interact with computers.
Peter's projects have included: ChronoTape, an augmented-reality paper timeline for annotating family history research; ChronoTable, a 'research-seismograph' for archeologists; BeatBearing, a drum machine with ball bearings for beats; and SensaBubble, a scented soap-bubble display. Other ongoing projects, collaborations and interests include the development of magical technology, magnetic pixels, slow technnology, teleporters, robotic origami, lo-fi haptic displays and 'Resonant User Interfaces'.
Just back from attending the two day Temporal-Design workshop held at Edinburgh University. I presented on the second day during the Pecha-Kucha session, giving an overview of how I consider time in my designs. The prototype “Story Stethoscope” (I’m still working on a final name) was discussed including how it presents many temporal-design challenges including the consideration of the many timeframes around stories and objects including: the life of the object, the person’s history, the time of the story told and the narrative arc over many stories. Download the slides for my talk here.
The workshop consisted of a number of longer format talks from Kevin Birth, Sarah Sharma, Siân Lindley, Sus Lundgren and Bronac Ferran, and ten Pecha-Kucha presentations. The first day kicked off with a ‘walkshop’ around Edinburgh centre with a history of time-keeping from Kevin. Towards the end of the workshop discussion groups were formed to discuss a number of points ranging from ephemerality and fluidity, through to time and the environment. I found myself discussing the ‘vocabulary of temporal-design’ in a group led by Jen Southern. The group created a rough draft of a possible ten week lecture series on temporal-design allowing the framing of the vocabulary.
A few of the Tangible Memories team attended the “Art, Death & Candy” event at the Arnos Vale cemetery yesterday evening. A discussion was led by artist Julia Vogl and Dr Jon Troyer about the possibilities of future memorials and their role within society. During the process gumballs were used to cast a vote on the factors the participants found to be most important. Continue reading →
This morning I attended a SPHERE talk by Bharat Bedi about the Smarter Care in Bolzano project. The talk addresses the question of “how can smart computing help people stay in their own homes for longer?” with details of a case study made in the city of Bolzano where there is a rapidly ageing population.
We played around with using the Oculus Rift today as a means for creating a virtual space for storytelling. Our first two testers M & B both enjoyed the experience. We firstly tried out stepping into a 3D snapshot of the Bristol Museum Foyer, and then took a trip up Cabot Tower. M had a look around a virtual Tuscan Villa whilst B opted for a whistle-stop tour of the Solar System. The next step is to customise the virtual scenes and introduce the possibility of handling objects relevant to the scene during the experience. An interesting finding was that binaural audio recordings played at the same time proved to be a distraction from the visual material.
Earlier this week I tried out sewing small RFID buttons into (and onto) a test fabric quilt. The aim is to create a musical blanket that can be used for storytelling. The ‘electronic cup’ shown on the right can read the tags and play preassigned passages of music when you hover over one of the buttons.