Watershed

pervasive media studio

What is Pervasive Media?

The Overview

For more than a decade, scientists have promised a world of devices and services that infuse the landscape of our daily lives with experiences that are designed to fit the needs of the situation. Beyond the laboratories, computing and communication technology has created a world in which people carry small, powerful, wireless computers and phones that are connected to the internet almost all of the time, from almost anywhere.

From gaming to outdoor displays, performance to public transport, pervasive media is delivered into the fabric of everyday life, tuned to the context at the moment of delivery. It sits at the emerging intersection of mobile computers, media technology, networks and sensors and offers significant opportunities for new types of digital media content and services, especially those linked to an awareness of place and location. 

The simple explanation:

Pervasive Media is basically any experience that uses sensors and/or mobile/wireless networks to bring you content (film, music, images, a game…) that’s sensitive to your situation – which could be where you are, how you feel, or who you are with. Oyster Cards are a simple pervasive device: so are audio guides at tourist attractions, which can give you extra information according to where you are and which bits you’ve been to already.

The more complex explanation:

Pervasive Media is Digital Media delivered into the fabric of real life and based on the situational context at the moment of delivery

The two defining features of Pervasive Media are:

1. Uses technology to understand something about the situation and
respond based on that information;
2. Uses digital media to augment (bridge) the physical environment, and
vice versa.

Read more on the subject: Web 2.0 is Yesterday, Prepare for World 3.0! An article by Tom Melamad of Calvium

Some bits from the toolbox:

This doesn’t attempt to be a definitive list of all of the
possibilities, but a start for people who are looking for inspiration.

Things you can sense:
Where you are (location)
The time (of day/of the year)
How you are feeling
What you are near
What you have done already
Who you are with
Temperature
Light
Sound
Physical state (direction facing/whether you are moving)
The weather

The tools you can use to detect these things:
Active
and Passive RFID

Bluetooth
GPS
Compass
Facial recognition
Heart rate monitor
Brain wave monitor
Pressure sensor
Mechanical switch
Microphone
Video camera
Galvanic
response

wifi
Mobile
Accelerometer
QR Code

The sorts of things you might trigger:
Playing of a piece of media
Loading of a website
Send a text message
Triggering a phone call
Opening or closing of a door
Turning on/off of a light/sound
Change of volume
An Augmented
Reality overlay


Extended Theatre project.

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