Media Sandbox 2008 wrapped up on Tuesday 6 May, bringing the fruits of the projects' labour over the last six months to an audience including funders, press, academics and creative and technology industry professionals.
With the projects' prototypes on show, it was clear that products and opportunities are far-ranging in the emerging realm of pervasive media. Each project reinforced the idea that pervasive media offers an opportunity for the user to be in control, accessing information when they want to, how they want to and where they want to.
Happy Towns' research lead them to the idea of 'slow technology'. Subtle, personalised and an antidote to indescriminate spam marketing, their prototype wearables work like interactive charm bracelets reacting only when they come into contact with a known friends'. At the other end of the spectrum, Swarms' urban game, The Comfort of Strangers, uses pervasive media to connect people who don't know each other.
Power to the People also took to the streets, aiming to make public art installations accessible to the public: PTTP's proof of concept was an 'etch-a-sketch' projection with which the public could use a variety of platforms (mobile, web browser etc) to 'draw' on a building. Aardman and HMC created a "magic mirror", through which a 3D world of Chop Socky Chooks was revealed, moving to align with the audiences' viewing position. And Licorice Film offered a tantalising alternative vision of urban reality in their game Harmonise which will be held at Watershed 17-19 May.
At the end of the event, industry panel judges Paul Appleby (BBC), Sam Ingleby (Intellect) and Dan Sutch (Futurelab) awarded Thought Pie a further £8,000 to take forward the Happy Packages project to develop their four strand approach to bring happy mobile 'gifts' to Bristolians.
There was a further award of £1,000 and a month residency at the Pervasive Media Studio to Wonky, who were judged by the present Media Sandbox participants to have the best new pervasive media idea in a heated Pecha Kucha competition. Wonky will investigate the viability of SSTV - using CCTV footage to make a map of Bristol's Street Sports available via mobile phones.
Congratulations to all the projects on their hardwork and creativity.
If you couldn't make the Showcase, we're currently editing a video from interviews caught at the event, which we will soon make available on our website.