NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) describes itself as “a centre for the recently possible.” Put another way, it’s where artsy people go to build some cool stuff with tech. So we went to the programme’s spring exhibition, to see what madness they dreamed up.
Whether you’re out shooting rolls or trying to put together a slideshow for an anniversary, figuring out what to do with film can be difficult. So Andrew LeVine built a physical device and smartphone app that makes developing and digitising photo negatives easy. Scanalogue works with 35mm and medium format film, and is set to hit Kickstarter later this summer.
VR and Occupational Therapy
Jaclyn Wickham used Google Cardboard and Unity to create what might look like the least interesting virtual experiences—waiting at a supermarket checkout, getting on the train, etc. Except they’re intended use is to give autistic children a safe, low-stakes environment to test out different social settings. So far she’s tested these role plays on 10 kids with autism spectrum disorders (with positive results!) and hopes to create more soon.
An old timey camera, a clock, and a weird metal box were transformed by Ross Goodwin into robotic storytelling devices. Each took different input (object recognition, time, and location, respectively) and used them as writing prompts. The prompts were guided by SD cards which contained statistical models culled from literature, and which told the devices whether to format their output as a novel, poem, or screenplay.
Admittedly this gif does no justice to the experience of watching Haunt—Serena Parr and Lilian Mehrel’s attempt at applying traditional narrative film to VR. In Haunt you watch moments past and present unfold from the perspective of a girl who has recently died. The six-odd-minute film takes one of the major limitations of VR—that you’re no longer inhabiting your body—and makes it its strength.
Immersive Piano Practice
It can be difficult to write music in the often uninspiring settings of a cramped apartment or dingy practice space. By strapping a pair of cameras to the front of an Oculus Rift, Lirong Liu can compose on a beach, a cathedral, or anywhere else, while still being able to see the keys he needs to be hitting. In the future, Liu hopes to include visual elements to turn it into a teaching tool for music students.
Visualising Time a Marble a Minute
According to Sung Hoon Kim, this device’s inventor, American’s spend about 4.7 hours on their phones every single day. As soon as your phone is unlocked, his app tracks how long you’re staring at that tiny screen in your pocket, and that massive sculpture drops one marble for ever minute you’re dicking around. Finally, you can come home to a visual reminder of how much more your probably could have accomplished today!