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.
Working on lasercutting the cover of the story cup (name to be decided) and had some maths help from Ben Long for calculating the dimensions for a cone covering which was much harder than expected!
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.
Working on some laser-cut ‘tangible type’ for the new website…
I’ve been playing around with RFID readers and tags for the StoryScope, and have got it all down to a small enough size to fit in a cup. This is a quick prototype to test the concept, and a version that uses less insulation tape to hold it together will be along soon!
What Are You To Me? Is an interactive multimedia installation that explores how we might remember the lives of our grandparents, taking audiences on their own personal journey through the fragmented re-imagining of three culturally diverse families. It is an archive of memories, where sights, sounds and smells become the trigger for audiences to access their own memories, wishes and regrets.
The installation provided a great opportunity for us to think about ways of triggering memories. Some ideas we discussed after the visit included:
- The tags only contained a small amount of text but were really good at evoking a whole scene. Keeping stories short, or at least having a synopsis seems like a good idea.
- The use of smells/odours/scents was really interesting when combined with the tags.
The Tangible Memories: Community in Care project has officially started. Please bear with us while we get some information up online.
Objects for Reminiscence
Books provide a tangible, familiar interface for reminiscence. We are co-designing with older people to produce print on demand books based on their memories. As well as the predictable text and images, the pages also contain AR triggers, which allow the reader to access audio and video giving an extra dimension to the reminiscences.
Part of the co-designing process is to develop a blueprint of tasks that can be followed by other older people and their carers/relatives who want to create their own books. The aim is to develop a website where this formula can be accessed, in order, ultimately, to make this project scalable and available to all.
Objects of Escape
We are exploring how virtual reality technology and interactive furniture can be used as a way for older people to access memories. In the comfort of a rocking chair, using virtual reality goggles or audio speakers, it is possible to experience favourite places and the great outdoors in 3D or in stereo, through 360º images or evocative soundscapes. These journeys of the imagination can rekindle past memories and help to assist reminiscence and storytelling.
We are currently exploring four areas of research around object and stories. Objects for storytelling, objects for reminiscence, objects of exchange and objects of escape.
Below are all the blog posts about the different projects we are working on across the Tangible Memories project: