Home » Posts tagged 'augmented'
Tag Archives: augmented
Fig.1. CityStories for mobile
City Stories are files of content, like popdcasts with text and audio, with images and video, linked to a map that spots each ‘talk’ and tracks your position.
Fig.2. Where the walking starts and ends
Reading about this online and taking a look is one thing. Going to London to walk the talk is another experience entirely. The immediate and obvious point is the context. You aren’t looking or listening to this content at a desk at home, but on the move. I get my bearings at a Patisiere Valerie in Holborn then head down the road to Queen’s Square and a hub of hospitals that have been growing up here for centuries.
Fig.3. Where’s the value in information that already exists?
There’s no longer any excuse to get lost in London? And not more call for a GPS tracker?
Fig. 4. Where am I?
I put on headphones and become another pedestrian lost to the world, though probably taking more interest in my local surroundings than most.
Fig.5. Queen Square Gardens
I start in Queen Square Gardens. I find the audio guide somewhat eclectic though. It is sponsored by the Wellcome Foundation and has a medical theme, but the narrator sweaps up random historical tidbits from far and wide – we go from the first houses and first hospital in the square, with quotes from letters or diaries and then it is mentioned that a Zeplin dropped a bomb in the square during the First World War and that people sheltered below the square in a shelter during the Second.
Fig. 6 Where a Zepllin dropped its bomb on 8th September 1915
It harmed no one, though it left its mark.
And this commenced my search for this plaque to the Zeplin bomb, which I finally located, under dust and leaves and barely legible having by now found so much more that I wanted information on that this audio guide didn’t provide. Of the 32 garden benches in the square only one does not have a dedication on it: most are to residents, some I would understand were treated in one of the several hospitals around the square, as well as memorials to former consultants, doctors and nurses. Poignantly, one to a person mudered in the London bombings.
Fig.7. One of the more poignant of some 28+ plaques commemorating those with a connection to the square – this is where ‘pinned’ augmented media can tell a story.
These are many interesting human stories here, non of which are explored.
Fig.8. Another local resident remembered
Such this memorial to a cat, as well as assorted other memorials, few of which explain themselves and none of which are mentioned in this audio tour.
It’s as if the guide was written without actually standing in the square, looking around and as a radio broadcaster would do, give some colour and background to what you can see as you turn on the spot, or follow the path around the square. To miss something out is to say something, just as it says something to put it in.
My interest and disappointment here is that I thought there would be a set of QR codes around a trial of 3 miles and at each one I’d call up the link to information that would, if I looked around me, would inform me of what I was seeing and what is going on behind the scenes. It could offer a soundscape of a different era. Memorable insights. Something to encourage me to start a journey, to want to find out more. I didn’t. I expected more on the Great Ormond Street Chidlren’s hospital but got less than I’d get from a quick Google to Wikipedia or YouTube. It did take me to Thomas Corram’s Foundling Hospital
Fig. 9. Thomas Corram’s Founding Hospital Museum
The opportunity to create highly relevant, engaging, memorable, award-winning mobile learning exists. The above was created using the open software from WordPress. The research needs to go beyond the obvious, beyond the everyday guidebook or wikipedia. You need to knock on a few doors, get some local colour, hear from people who live in the square … or lived in the square. And if you want to do a ‘drama reconstruction’ then get the investment for a proper soundscape, actor(s) and script. Leaving questions unanswered is fine – it is easier enough to research further.
Most fundamentally, who is your audience for this?
There are three kinds of people in this part of London: UCL students, patients and visitors to the many hospitals and those working in the hospitals and universities. Many will have a smartphone. IF they know what a QR code is then I’d expected to see this placed in opportune spots like miniature versions of those blue plaques you find on houses.
Fig. 9 Plaques today, engraved QR codes of NFCs tomorrow?
Isn’t Google running something with Google Maps where you can pin content, audio and video, to a GPS location?
Imagine a room in which students pick an item from a museum then do this with it on their screens. You have their attention. How do they then take it and create a string of memories that take them through assignments and beyond?
Imagine downloading ahead of a visit the audio tour for a special show? My visit to the Royal Academy to see the Van Gogh letters had my mother as the audio tour – I wish I’d recorded it. Where we now have ONE voice and script very soon there will be many – then you can choose who you want as your guide.
And then imagine an audiotour pinned to locations as you walk around a town, showing you before and after vistas, telling you stories or offering an alternative soundscape. Not if your in a hurry. And if on your daily commute you’ll turn yourself into an expert and need to upload your own research and insights. Here the ‘Blood, guts and babies’ medical tour from the Wellcome Foundation.
And at the risk of getting hit by the next best, take your eyes of the footpath and take a augmented view not just of a shop or cafe, but illustrated history … London Blitz would be scary, to see a motorbike currier heading towards a bomb crater.
Fig.1. Miro – Barcelona
A lifelong love in art galleries yet I still feel unmoved (most of the time) by galleries and museums, possibly because I expect the gentle, guiding voice of my late mother at my shoulder (artist, art historian, Mum).
What could be a more personalised visit than to have someone who knows you so well point things out, guide you to things that will interest or irritate, then offer an insight – invariably linked to ‘what do you do next?’ i.e. look, learn then apply.
I take heart from the exceptions, only two visits I can think of though:
‘In Flanders Fields’ – you need a day to yourself to take this in. The most shocking moment entering a funnel like fixture, looking around then twisting your head up to see sets of photographs of mutilated combatants. It put your physically in a demanding postion to view them. Then the multi-media displays, not just actors giving accounts, but the ultimate before and after shots of places using satelitte images and old aerial photos.
‘Alcatraz’ – on many levels the visit irritated me, partly the Disneyfication and advance booking, then the many layers of the islands as bird sanctuary, prison and Native American conquest. What impressed though was the brilliant audio guide – BBC at its very best might be the way to describe it. Very carefully and sensitively juxtapositioning of interviews with former inmates, guards, and family members of guards/governor which between them created a sense or atmosphere of the place like some kind of hideous monastic retreat.
So how do we ‘recreate’ battlefields” We have the 750th of the Battle of Lewes here in East Sussex next year, as well as us all having five or more years of the run up to, the war and aftermath of 1914-1918.
The opportunity exists to use smart devices to give visitors and pilgrims an enhanced, personalised and lasting memory of these places – but how?