Netscapes: Week 1 – Part 1: Related Reading

Kipper, G. and Rampolla, J. (2012). Augmented reality: An Emerging Technologies Guide to AR Waltham, MA: Syngress.

Kipper & Rampolla’s book offers a look into how AR can be used on a number of platforms (including mobile and desktop) and across industries. It discusses how AR can be used for both education and gaming purposes, and gives insight into security and other issues developers may encounter. The text provides a range of examples of uses in public and private scenarios, and gives examples of how this technology can be used to improve not only our careers, but our daily lives.


Ribas, D. (2017). Building Cognitive Applications with IBM Watson Services. 1st ed. [S.l.]: IBM Redbooks.

The first book in a series giving insight into building AI based applications using IBM’s Watson platform, written by IBM themselves. This book outlines how the platform works and how it can be used in real life applications.

The book provides examples of code and explanations, and explains how the Watson services can be manipulated to cater to individual needs and different purposes, such as in the case example of DeepQA. This is done by discussing the creation of a new system to use for “Jeopardy!”, where Watson AI competed against human competitors in the game show.


Kwastek, K. (2013). Aesthetics of interaction in digital art. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kwastek’s book discusses how interaction has been and continues to be an important part of installation and performance artwork. It looks into the history of interactive art in its various forms, starting from the 1960’s, and brings it into a modern context, referring to the rising creation of digital art.

The text gives theoretical insight into the creation of interactive artworks, using case studies to help illustrate her ideas and offer new perspective into the creation of this type of art.


Candy, L. and Ferguson, S. (2014). Interactive experience in the digital age. 1st ed. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

This book gives an insight into the creation of interactive experiences within modern art. The book explores the diverse ways in which interactive art can be created, and how interactive media can enhance the experience of artwork for a viewer. It takes research from human computer interaction and applies this to the field of digital arts.

The text also features insights from professionals such as artists, entrepreneurs, designers and creators.

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Setting up Eduroam on Raspberry Pi

Anyone who has ever used Eduroam on a Raspberry pi will know that it’s no easy task to set it up. Fortunately, it is possible, it just takes a lot of trial and error.

This has been tested on a Pi2, Pi3, and a model b+ with a WiFi adapter.

How to set up an Eduroam WiFi connection on Raspberry pi:

Firstly, you will need to find out your university’s network information – this will vary depending on which university you are at. As this guide is made (and tested) for Plymouth University, you may have to find your own university’s information. In this case, the information was readily available on the university’s website — you will need to look this up in case there are any differences (this part is up to you!).

Before you start, you may need to stop network connections:

sudo service networking stop

Warning:  This will disable any currently open network connections – if you are using your Raspi with SSH, this will disconnect it, so be sure to do this using a mouse/keyboard/screen.

Security

If you have used WiFi on a Raspberry Pi before, you may have noticed your password is stored in plain text – this is not okay! We can combat this by hashing it. You can convert your password by opening a command prompt and typing in:

read -s input ; echo -n $input | iconv -t utf16le | openssl md4

then type in your password. It will feed back a hashed version of your password. This needs to be added to the the ‘wpa_supplicant.conf’ file as indicated later.

 

Editing the Config files

The two files we need to edit are ‘/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf’ and ‘/etc/network/interfaces’. What you put into these files depends on your university’s network.

The first can be edited in the terminal by typing:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

in ‘wpa_supplicant’:

   ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
     update_config=1
country=GB
     network={
ssid=”eduroam”
scan_ssid=1 scan_ssid=1
    proto=RSN
key_mgmt=WPA-EAP
pairwise=CCMP TKIP pairwise=CCMP TKIP
group=CCMP TKIP
eap=PEAP
phase2=”auth=MSCHAPV2″
identity=”<eduroam-username>”
password=hash:<eduroam-password-hashed-using-iconv-and-openssl>
id_str=”eduroam”
     }

where <eduroam username> is your usual eduroam login and <eduroam password> is the hashed password.

Next, edit ‘interfaces’ by typing into the terminal:

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

and adding in:

 auto lo wlan0
     iface lo inet loopback
     iface eth0 inet dhcp
     iface wlan0 inet dhcp
        wpa-driver wext
        wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
     iface default inet dhcp

 

You may also need your university’s security certificate – this can usually be found with the other details for manually connecting to your university’s WiFi. Once you have found it, add it to the folder ‘/etc/ssl/certs/’ and then link back to it from within your ‘wpa_supplicant.conf’ file by adding:

ca_cert=”/etc/certs/<NameofCert>”

where ‘/etc/certs/<NameofCert>’ is the name/location of the certificate needed.

Once this is done, you will need to run wpa_supplicant:

sudo wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf -B

You may need to reboot to get it to connect.

Troubleshooting

You may find that your Raspberry pi resets key_mgmt to “none” on connecting to Eduroam and lists as “disassociated from Eduroam” – if this is the case, you may find it easier to work on a copy and overwriting the original with the Eduroam version.

Useful links

Eduroam for RasPi at Bristol University

Eduroam for RasPi at Cambridge University

Digital Cities: The future of urban life

In the modern age, everything is becoming smart. From phones, televisions and even home appliances. But the ‘Smart movement’ is also taking place on a much bigger scale; whole cities are becoming smart.

But what is a smart city? Whilst there is no complete definition as to what a smart city is, they are based around using technology to create solutions to modern life problems. For example, Barcelona has introduced ‘smart traffic lights‘ that provide “Green light corridors” to emergency service vehicles, as well as introducing new bus services that use technology to ‘ensure the system is managed effectively’.

I created this short video to give a basic explanation of smart cities and their aims:

Creating my Digital City Visualizations

Because of the lack of local data available, I had to use mock data & data from other cities to test my app – In this case Bristol.

I made 2 visualizations using PHP – one takes percentages of residents happy with their local green areas and represents it with the number of living and dead flowers in a field, the other takes the number of shopping trolleys found in rivers and represents that as dead fish in a river.

Building the Automated Home

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Raspberry Pi checking weather

Next I made a miniature model of a house fitted with a Raspberry pi & Arduino. The Arduino was wired up to a selection of sensors and servo motors, with a small screen on top. I programmed the Raspberry Pi to read in live online data, such as weather, sunset, and temperature. If the weather was bad, the servo motors would spin and the windows would shut, and if the weather was dry and sufficiently warm, the windows would open.

The Raspberry Pi was connected to a Unicorn Hat, which I setup to scroll text across according to the weather data, for example, if it was rainy, it would scroll the word “Rain” in blue.

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Rain Sensor allowing for viewer interaction

 

The house was also wired up with sensors that would override the online data inputs, such as in the case of unexpected rain showers. This also allowed for viewer interaction during exhibition.


Related Links

News Report: Bristol UK’s leading Digital City outside London

Bristol Open Data

Urban API: Uni Voice

Uni voice is an interactive feedback system built for Plymouth University. Its aim is to make it easier for student’s voices to be heard in a fresh and exciting manner, by creating a connection between the virtual and physical world.

It is built using Unity and Vuforia to create an augmented reality app. It uses the QR codes as an AR target. Live Twitter data is given a sentiment score using Node-Red and used to dynamically change the size of buildings on the map.

Our Inspirations were:

Peronio: an AR pop-up book built with Unity and Vuforia; much like our own project.Read More…

Monsters Multiplayer AR board game – uses Vuforia smart terrian to build a game board that includes physical objects as part of the game board. Read More…

Central Park – Listen To The Light: an interactive location-aware album that changes based on where you walk. Read More

Design Process

Planning and low-fidelity prototypes

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First map that uses images with Vuforia to play sounds.

To start with, we used images that Vuforia would recognise and use to replay sounds. We later replaced these with QR codes.

3d map

concept of map with building sizes influenced by Twitter data.

 

Final Designs/High-fidelity prototypes

QRcodesmap.jpg

QR codes on the map.

 

AR still.png

Concept of 3D building on the physical map.

Using Blender camera tracking, I was able to quickly create a concept of how the 3D AR buildings would look on the physical map.

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Uni Voice in action

 

tablet.jpg

Jack demonstrating the AR app in action.

uni voice logo black

I created the logo in Illustrator as an identity for our project.

Future Improvements

  • Potential for further expansion such as having more ‘points’ on the map.
  • live Twitter updates with Text-To-Speech technology (which we simulated with pre-recorded Text-to-speech software).
  • Switch out QR codes for alternatives, possibly using NFC tags under the map or the numbers on the map.

Evaluation & Feedback

We used an online feedback system to both gather first-hand research on students views of how the University handles feedback, and another on feedback from our project to help us measure our influence and impact on the university.

See it here: University Voice Survey


 

Resources

Unity • Vuforia • CrazyBump • Node-Red • Stellarsurvey

 

Music from the Mundane: Field Sound Recording

Field sound recording is the art of taking recordings of everday noise – Cars, People, and Trains to name a few – and using it to create music.

Inspirations

Marc De Pape – ‘Chime – Scoring the City’

Chime is a wind-chime inspired instrument that captures motion data from various points around the city.

“The Chime is a collection of 18 sensors measuring 27 parameters assembled to poetically translate the impulses and flows of the everyday city into sound. “

Listen/Read more | Video

Yuri Suzuki – ‘Sound Taxi’

Sound taxi features a black London cab decked out with 67 speakers and one measurement microphone. As it drives around, it picks up sounds using the microphone on the roof, then uses software to analyse the frequencies and convert it to music

Listen | Read more

Giorgio Sancristoforo – Project AudioScan

006lorenza daverio pg

“Audioscan embodies the confluence of three stages of modern music technology: tape recording, electronic synthesis and processing, and personal-computer-based digital audio. It starts with recordings of street sounds, turns those into electronic instruments processed by electronic effects, and then creates the final composition in a digital audio workstation.”

Read More

My Sound Recording

My recording features sounds of Plymouth: Featuring shoppers in drake circus, train announcements, devonport siren, cars and buses, buskers, seagulls and of course the ocean. I recorded these on my camera and used Audacity to put it all together.

My idea was to recreate and reflect the city atmosphere in sound format.

 


 

Resources:

Chime by Marc de Pape

Yuri Suzuki sound taxi:Article | Artist Website

Giorgio Sancristoforo – Audioscan

The Art of the Journey: GPS Drawing

GPS drawing is a combination of art, technology and travel. The aim is to draw using a GPS co ordinates – such as using tracking app on a mobile phone – turning travelling into an art form.

My Drawing

I wanted my drawing to reflect the local area; so as Plymouth is known as the “ocean city” i decided to try and create a simple boat on campus.

BoatGPSdrawing

My  boat drawn on campus by using GPS co ordinates. Mapped using Single points during the walk and later connected with straight lines in GPS visualizer.

Some of the difficulties with GPS drawings are obstacles such as buildings and walls that could potentially block paths you are trying to create; and if you are using a mobile phone app, they tend to drain battery quite quickly!


 

Inspirations

World’s biggest if – Hugh Pryor

if_biiiiiig2

 

‘If’ features 70 mile tall letters spanning London, Oxford and the surrounding areas. It is created only by travelling through places with names that begin with ‘if’, such as ifield road and ifold, as seen above.

World’s biggest if

Hugh Pryor – ‘The Wallingford Fish’

wallingford-fish2

The Wallingford Fish, created by Hugh Pryor, is regarded as one of the first GPS drawings. It covers 13  miles, is 67 miles long, and made using felt tip pens and a map!

Wallingford fish

My Ghost

my-ghost

 

A complex example; ‘My Ghost’, uses GPS data collected from all his daily travels to create a ‘Personal Cartography’ map of London. It reflects the daily travels that we take, but often do not realise how much we cover.

My Ghost

 

Plymouth Whale

gps-drawing

Read More

A Road less Travelled: Psychogeography

“The science of anthropogeography, or more properly speaking, psychogeography, deals with the influence of geographical environment on the human mind.”

– J. Walter Fewkes, Bureau of American Ethnology, (1905)

Psychogeography is based around identifying the ambiance and general feelings associated with a place. The aim is to divide city zones into ‘distinct psychic atmospheres’; Creating an illustration of a city not based upon topography, but instead based around the feelings created in certain areas, and how they link together.

Our inspiration today is based around the work of Guy Debord, an example of which is below. The arrows represent unity; a connection between areas based on psychological aspects; these are known as ‘Slopes’. The size of the arrow corresponds to the strength or length of a slope.

debord-guide1

Guy Debord’s Psychogeographical guide to Paris

Our work was also inspired by Mark Shepherd’s ‘Serendipitor’; an app that leads you from point A to point B using roads not yet walked (Similar: Drift), as well as Susan Philipsz’ installation ‘Surround Me’, which uses sound as a medium to reflect the atmosphere of areas of London.


My Psychogeography Journey

To start our journey, we placed a cup on a map to mark out a general area for exploration. This is not a limitation; it is merely a guideline for our path.

Our journey starts on the outskirts of the university, near Drake’s reservoir, a place where work and rest collides. There is a sense of calm; a juxtaposition between the busy streets and the university campus.

drake resevoir

The train station and surrounding main roads have an overall sense of restlessness; it is an area of transportation that never sleeps.

station

In stark contrast to the city centre, these cramped flats almost give a sense of suffocation. The atmosphere is quiet, almost depressing in nature.

flats

An area of transition; watched over by CCTV. An Archway leading you away from residential to commercial, a gradual transition dusted with grassy banks.

residential.png

As the residential area melds back into the commercial area of the city, the mood changes. The silence is broken by the sounds of cars overhead and the soft strumming of a guitar as the quiet of the residential areas give way to the commercial and work areas. This is a place of transition.

UnderpassB.png

Another transition; this time from the city centre near the hoe toward a quieter area. Although the churches may represent a sense of community to some, the dark cobbled alleyways may represent a feeling of nothingness, possibly even unease in others.

to churches.jpg

Lastly, we return to the University’s Roland Levinsky building; a modern, angular building with a strong presence. The shape of the stairway and surrounding walls naturally leads you toward the entrance, not dissimilar to a funnel. Although fitting with the architecture of the nearby shopping centre; the feeling is overall different.

RLBb.png

This is a rough map of our actual journey, and a psychogeographical map based on our own experiences.

psychogeography routepsychogeography plymouth map


 

Sources:

 

 

 

3D Modelling for the Immersive Vision Theatre

We were tasked with creating a 10 second animation in Blender for the Immersive Vision Theatre. We had roughly 2 weeks to create it, so we had to keep it simple yet still demonstrate our knowledge of Blender and 3D modelling.

We all decided to create a different game each. Meg (View her website Here!) created Space Chess, Jack made Space invaders, Rachel made Pac-Man, Harry made Tetris, James made Monopoly, and I made first-person Sonic, as I felt this would work well in the IVT.

I decided to go for a low-poly aesthetic as we had limited time, so I needed to keep it simple whilst still making it look good. Having previous experience of Blender, I was able to easily create assets for my animation such as springs, rocks and spikes.

wip

Work in progress

To render for the dome,we had to use Blender’s fish eye camera. We also had to take into account the angle of the screen, which means we have to angle the camera roughly 25º down.

sonic test0205.png

One of the frames from my animation, rendered in Fisheye.

Because the Dome is truncated, we had to edit it to fit in After Effects to crop 20% off the top. We also took this as an opportunity to add transitions and audio to make our work flow better.


My part of the animation, ready to be put together with the rest in After Effects ready for our presentation.

Combining Art & Technology: The Painting Robot

Our Latest project, dubbed ‘Pip3tt3’, involved creating a robot that takes virtual data and represents it in the physical world, using a Raspberry Pi and/or Arduino

In this instance, three of us came together to create three different methods – and a different colour for each; Blue for tweets to #pipblue on Twitter (Meg’s part), Green for social media notification noises (Jack’s part), and purple for live webpage hits (My part).

IMG_20160225_181250

My part of the ‘robot’ used live web hits on my server web page to tell the robot to paint. To do this, I used a Raspberry Pi with Apache and PHP installed. I used a backwards SSH tunnel from my server that activated when a script was run on my Pi.

IMG_20160224_191344

The first prototype using a relay switch and small solenoid – which turned out to be too small!

To get the messages from point A to point B I used Beanstalk – which has the capabilities to take on multiple ‘jobs’, so it could deliver messages to multiple different Arduinos, however, in this case, it only needs to tell one to switch on!

pi gotjob

Using Beanstalk to send jobs via the Raspberry Pi.

The Arduino part, however, uses the same code as the other 3 parts of the robot. It takes an input, in this case ‘on’, which tells it to use the attached solenoid to release some paint.

IMG_20160225_180834

The wiring of the robot is actually quite simple – as seen above – it uses one 9v battery, a relay switch, and a 12v 1kg force solenoid (smaller ones were too weak to squeeze the pipette!). It is housed neatly inside a wooden box with a 3D printed holder for the pipettes.

 

pi cam

The Pi Camera, which we used to record the painting process.

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First Tester painting created by the robot

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Final painting created by the robot during presentation