Bitsphere's Weblog

… a bitart weblog


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Developing a Neuchâtel Sound Map

neuchatel_mapCurrently Bitsphere is working on a sound map of the town Neuchâtel in Switzerland. This is inspired by the Canadian composer, R. Murray Schafer, who wrote several books covering the topic of sound environment. The Neuchâtel sound map will be opened for the public as soon as there are enough sound snippets to expose.

The recordings are made with a cell phone and uploaded to evernote.com. In the Evernote notebook the exact location is set via the inbuilt google map. The planning goes to open the notebook to the public and link to the sound from google maps. Maybe there is a simpler solution so if anyone knows about it please leave a comment. Bitsphere is by now not sure whether this is a proper solution to avoid people deleting content. If not, the map will be copied to another website.

The bad news about recording with the mobile phone into Evernote is the fact that one cannot choose the sound quality and the media format. So the sounds are always recorded in the file format the cell phone provides. The good news is that the cell phone is almost any time at hand and one can enjoy the sound mapping as an ongoing side project.

So if you do not want to create your own sound map, but you still want to take part by telling which typical sounds of a city you would like to hear in a Neuchâtel way, just post your comment!

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Oneminute Video 2011

This year Bitsphere participated for the third time at the Oneminute film festival in Aarau, Switzerland (http://www.oneminute.ch). The video shown at the festival is the first video by Bitsphere done with a real cam. An augmented reality engine computes a virtual cube into the real video. The cube bounces off wooden tokens placed before the cameras lenses.

The application works in realtime. When a token is hit by the cube a sound is played out of a reservoir of one hundred sounds which are similar but not the same. So there is a big variety of sounds. To take the final video several takes were done since the application is not deterministic and behaves in different ways depending on the starting point and velocity of the cube and the position of the tokens in the field of view of the camera.

If you have questions, suggestions or something to say about this video or the application use the comment section below this post!


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Social augmented reality

After a post on psychic augmented reality here: https://bitsphere.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/augmented-reality-and-psychic-augmented-reality/, let’s look at some impacts of social media:

With the emerging of social sites in the most recent years a lot of people started to socialize on the web with all this new fancy tools called myspace, facebook, twitter and similar sites. And it turns out that the social environment in this sites is quite different from the one in reality. People one might not have seen for a long time are now present in the newsfeed all day or even all hour and there are a lot of new contacts located only on line.

With social media everybody is free to build his own social structure on line in much an easier way than off line. Because in the internet we can add or reject a “friend” with only one click, whereas in reality the social binding depends on geographic and sociographic facts that are much harder to control by the individual. A person can not choose his family and in most cases can not choose who are his work mates or neighbours. Possibly there is a choice in a wider sense, for example in some cases one may choose the company and  its philosophy one works for or the kind of neighbours by moving in the favorite quarter or not.

As there is a much greater freedom in choosing the digital neighbours and mates. Persons who do not depend on every follower can get very rigidly choose who are their friends or followers by sorting them out by the value they bring. By controlling who is giving input and who carries further own output, one builds a community around oneself which serves best a persons needs and a persons perspective on himself.

This sooner or later starts spreading out on everyday life as one becomes hints or invitations to real existing events or are pushed towards recognition of certain facts, the on line person one builds tends to become real. And that is when digital and real world becomes one – the definition of “augmented realty”.


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Augmented reality and psychic augmented reality

There are several activities going on in a field named “Augmented Reality” (see http://newcurator.com/2009/06/mobile-ar/ via http://kulturmanagement.wordpress.com/?s=Augmented+Reality (in German). Although it takes longer to adjust the cam of the mobile phone to a bar code or QR code than to type the available data with the keys of the cell phone, it is a step on the way to a smarter surrounding. If this trend is going on there might be a bigger change in the way we share information.

Link to QR generator from kaywa.com as QR code

Link to QR generator from kaywa.com as QR code

Although technology is  not yet far driven in this field, there is already an interaction between the real and the virtual world. User bring their experience during a long working day or a long gaming night in front of virtual system to their real life. There are so many computer worker and gamer out there and their perception of the virtual reality they stare at working and playing is not switched of when they leave their machines. They see, hear, sort and judge the real world as they are used to do the virtual one. And so our world becomes day per day a little more augmented.

This is not because technologies becomes more sophisticated, but because humans become more technological. As comic magazines started to spread, the phenomena of expressing ones feelings in “yeas” and “orks” became popular. Nowadays people overwhelmed of a beautiful landscape can be heard saying: “What a great graphic!”