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Mobile Bristol

Minutes of Meeting 18th June 2002

H-P: Phil Stenton, Jo Reid, Richard Hull, John Honniball, Erik Geelhoed, Hans Daanen, Alastair Patterson
Bristol University: Cliff Randell, Chris Djiallis, Andrew Moss, Mike McCarthy, Constance Fleuriot

The purpose of the meeting was to communicate the current work that people are involved in and to start to co-ordinate future work.

Design Overview Jo gave an overview of what has been done at HP since January: Richard and Paul Marsh have developed the infrastructure and tools for people to create soundscapes, there have been workshops with school students for the New Sense of Place project, the results of which are being analysed. There is a new piece in the atrium created with Roger and Annie and herenorthere. Jo described their new field of research in Experience Design and how they can use Mobile Bristol to explore this.

Hardware Development John has been working on getting the ultrasound system to work at both ends of the atrium simultaneously. He has also been looking at wearables and components.

Application Building Richard described the current system used in the atrium at HP. Now that there have been a couple of deployments in the atrium HP is working towards a docks/millennium square deployment. An overall question is ?What sort of digital event do ?creatives? want to specify, and how can they specify these events?? He then identified potential research themes: dynamic maps (HP in discussions with the OS), media delivery (mixing, samples, MP4, audio control) what applications need the system to know who you are (ie how do you control what people around you, know about you: trusted partners), approaching and appropriating info kiosks, seamless roaming between gprs and 802.11, other sensors (gps, beacons, accelerometers etc.), phone users and how they can participate, linux, Richard finished by describing the application building as being for the experience design research, that they want to incorporate lots of social interaction, that they provoke this interaction e.g. through the use of a collaborative game, and that there are situated elements to this. He also said that HP are most interested in the middleware.

Sensors Chris described his final year project on step count etc. and its usefulness for when you are out of gps or between networks. There was discussion around this and Cliff mentioned he would be testing it in Ambient Wood where he is experimenting with using multiple pings as low level context transmitters.

User Studies Erik is interested in user studies and evaluation e.g. what sort of audio services people want, how peoples facial expressions change when they are using the system, individual v. social experiences. He is also looking at the psychophysics of audio and the relationship between audio and visual markers. Jo is working with the University of Bath (Richard the Psychologist and his students) to do some evaluation and testing of the experience model and some soundscapes.

Networking Hans is working on the network side of things, co-ordinating with Henk over the aerials, BCTN etc. The servers at HP will be outside the firewall. There was some discussion here around the coverage, bandwidths and so on, and it was pointed out that as it is for research it is not a 24/7 environment. Hans has been talking to people working on Wildscreen and Arkive, and suggested they could be partners for one of a regular (3-monthly?) series of events ?This is Mobile Bristol?.

Wearables Software Mike is working on Media streaming and testing what sort of media can go across 802.11 to the bitsy. He described his approach to sorting out the problem, which I am not going to go into in great detail here.
Amoss is developing a compiler which will be optimised for wearable applications. It is intended to test this on the Millennium Square project at some point.

Artistic Collaboration Constance has been working with Jo, Richard and the other members of the New Sense of Place group. There is an ESRC grant app written by Owain Jones (Bristol Uni Geographical Science) and Keri Facer (Futurelab) along with Neil Selwyn (Soc Sci Cardiff) that has got through to the full proposal stage of the E-Society Research Programme. We are also working on writing up the workshop and submitting papers. ISEA has accepted a short paper on Mobile Bristol for the Short presentation sessions see (ISEA2002, 11th International Symposium on Electronic Art will be held in Nagoya, Japan from October 27 to 31 with the theme, Orai, a Japanese word, meaning comings and goings, communication, and contract, as well as streets and traffic)

Equator Collaboration Cliff is working with City Project using his ultrasonic system, and they are now doing user testing. On Ambient Wood he is working on the integration of different pinger signals, r.f. stuff. He also mentioned Henk's interest in making the invisible visible, such as spy holes in trees, and being able to see what is going on beneath your feet etc.

Future Themes and Funding There was some discussion around different roles that the university and HP could play, and how to structure collaboration. Constance mentioned that Henk is also interested in tools development as a research theme. Phil gave a brief description of the proposal to the DTI to get funding for Mobile Bristol for the next three years, and should know by the end of July whether he has funding for the infrastructure support for Mobile Bristol, the money for research collaborations, and for R&D/innovation programmes.

Future Meetings There was then a general discussion on the usefulness of meeting and that we should hold regular monthly meetings to discuss general progress and to clarify themes we are working on. We did not fix a time for the next general Mobile Bristol Meeting.
We also decided that it would be good to have separate meetings for those who want to work toward a common goal, the first one identified was to meet to discuss the Millenium Square event and what is happening there. We need to agree if we are doing an event, what the goals for an event should be and what software/hardware we need to work with. We agreed to have a technical meeting on the 2nd July 2pm at the Uni to discuss this. Cliff suggested that there should be someone to take responsibility for management and co-ordination of this event - Phil agreed to nominate someone.

Next Meeting: tba @ Bs Univ.

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