The open-source code released today will allow developers to experiment with interactive art installations. While previously these interactive expriences were developed from the ground up, Google’s Interactive Spaces will give developers the tools they need to easily innovate in the space. Read the exerpt from the Google Open Source blog below:
Today, we announce the release of Interactive Spaces, a new API and runtime which allows developers to build interactive applications for physical spaces. Imagine walking into a room where the room recognizes where you are and responds based on your position.
You can see an example above. There are cameras in the ceiling which are doing blob tracking, in this case the blobs are people walking on the floor. The floor then responds to the blobs by having colored circles appear underneath the feet of someone standing on the floor and then having the circles follow that person around.
Interactive Spaces works by having “consumers” of events, like the floor, connect to “producers” of events, like those cameras in the ceiling. Any number of “producers” and “consumers” can be connected to each other, making it possible to create quite complex behavior in the physical space.
Interactive Spaces is written in Java, so it can run on any operating system that supports Java, including Linux and OSX and soon Windows.
Interactive Spaces provides a collection of libraries for implementing the activities which will run in your interactive space. Implementing an activity can require anything from a few lines in a simple configuration file to you creating the proper interfaces entirely from scratch. The former gets you off the ground very quickly, but limits what your activity can do, while the latter allows you the most power at the cost of more complexity. Interactive Spaces also provides activities’ runtime environment, allowing you to deploy, start, and stop the activities running on multiple computers from a central web application in your local network.
Kansas City Sports stadium might be the last place Id expect a next gen CRM platform. Yet its new Chief Information Officer is taking the analogue sports-viewing experience and layering it with social technology to augment and enhance your viewing pleasure. There are several initiatives the CIO has integrated to boost ad/merch/ticket sales.
Seat Check-Ins: QR codes on seats lets you check into KC’s in-house social network. Link your credit card to order pick-ups of merch or food, and earn points redeemable online or at the stadium Sporting Explore App: A live-play app that allows fans to earn Sporting Club points by guessing what will happen next in the game. They are planning to launch a series of apps like these to further enhance the fan experience. Jumbotron: Twitter-stream of tweets with the hashtag #sportingKC. Mentions are up 25%. Foot Traffic: KCSS tracks stadium foot traffic which is sold to stadium designers, and handset data sold to phone carriers. Ethical questions aside, this has helped raise ad dollars for the venue. Command Center: To track online fans, KCSS built a dashboard to monitor fan’s online activity during the game – as many as 1700 people are on their phones at once tweeting, facebooking, and sharing photos.
Whats revolutionary about this stadium is not the check ins or the QR codes – its the feedback system this CIO has developed, one which can effectively monitor and understand consumer behaviors during the game, and respond to them effectively. Different ad units within the 350 screens across the stadium are sold to different advertisers based upon the attributes of the fan. This feedback system allows them to flexibly monitor and responds to the actual online activity of users within the stadium. And in no business is a CRM platform more relevant than a stadium, where the core business is fans & loyalty.
In a glee-filled evening, Schell declared that games and real life are reaching out to each other with such force that we might come to a condition of “gamepocalypse—where every second of your life you’re playing a game in some way. He expects smart toothbrushes and buses that give us good-behavior points, and eye-tracking sensors that reward us for noticing ads, and subtle tests that confirm whether product placement in our dreams has worked.
The reason games are so inviting is that they offer: clear feedback, a sense of progress, the possibility of success, mental and physical exercise, a chance to satisfy curiosity, a chance to solve problems, and a great feeling of freedom.
Accelerating technology has made some people give up on predicting the future, Schell said, but in fact it should make us much better predictors, because we get so much practice in finding out so quickly whether our predictions are right or wrong. He feels confident in predicting a number of driving forces that will make games subsume all other media and occupy ever more of real life. They are:
Nooks & crannies—new niches for games in people’s time, in specialty groups, in various world cultures.
Microtransactions—which will really take off when they blend with social networking.
New sensors—tilty smart phones are a glimpse of what disposable sensors everywhere might bring.
New screens—live displays on everything.
REM-tainment—lucid dreams as a play field.
AdverGaming—commercialization money drives powerful innovation.
Beauty—everything is getting gorgeous.
Customization—you can already get personalized M&Ms.
Eye and face tracking—universal face recognition is coming, and so is having your avatar reflect your real-face expressions.
The curious will win—games so reward curiosity and fast learning that the incurious will be left behind.
Authenticity—”real” constantly pushes toward real.
Transmedia worlds—Pokémon showed the way, embracing a game, TV, cards, and toys.
Speech recognition—soon you will have to persuade a computer character to do something.
Geotracking—the real world becomes the screen.
Sharing—Wikipedia showed its power.
Quantitative design—detailed real-time analysis of what works in games drives exquisite adaptation.
Extrinsic rewards—gold stars everywhere, but Schell recommends the book Punished by Rewards and believes that intrinsic rewards are better to promote because they last.
Whole life tracking—the endpoint is immersion. Hopefully in what James Carse calls “the infinite game”—where the point is not in winning but in always improving the game.
Asked in the Q&A about short versus long games, Schell noted that massive multiplayer games have such scale and scope and offer such endless new goals and progress along with their social intensity that World of Warcraft now has 10 million players. We may well be passing our avatars on to our children and grandchildren.
This product democratizes all activity in every moment of your day – thats quite a revolutionary concept. Climbing stairs is the same as the star master – it all gets captured. It encourages us not to do more sport, but to be more active at every moment of our daily lives. We need to think bigger than just prime time exercise, yet Nike’s launch focused around top notch athletes tuning their training regiments, and it fell flat with many consumers.
I hope Nike allows developers to play with the data (without intruding on personal privacy). The ability to customize the way in which you use your data through third party hacks or web-based apps would be an incredible feat. See Naked’s Nokia Push project for more. Your consumers are far more creative than you, let them hack this thing to make it a truly revolutionary device.
Lastly the support for wider consumers doesnt feel large enough. The Fuel Band is asking people to change behavior in a significant way, that needs to be supported through community programs, missions, and other rich elements that can be borrowed from gamification.
In all the Fuel Band offers the same sort of revolutionary technology that a smartphone brings, with the differentiator of being attached to you at every moment of your day. Its up to Nike and the Fuel Band community to bring it to its full potential.
The human is the playful animal. When we are playing we are in are most engaged and productive state. For too long business has been about competing and fighting to the death. This isn't working anymore. It's time to start playing again.