Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Troika’s in town!

May 4, 2006

troika

Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio from Troika Ranch are in town!  are responsible for the fantastic Isadora software which Sara has used to programme her video work. Dawn and Mark stopped by yesterday to 'Pay Attention' and then came with us for dinner and drinks. Troika Ranch are in Liverpool as part of their 9 week tour of their latest performance, which will also tour to other european cities including Berlin.

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Grabbing Attention at CocoaDevHouse Amsterdam

April 22, 2006

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CocoaDevHouse is an unconference, hackathon, geek meetup and make stuff event over 24 hours. We're half way through learning about Cocoa development, and starting to make some stuff that uses the varied and exceptional talents of the guys in the room. Paul is working on the application that turns the RFID events into usable data, records it and does nice stuff with it. The guys at CocoaDevHouse are pretty interested in making a simple Cocoa App, mixed in with a little WebObjects so it seemed like a great opportunity for them all (or 5 of them at least) to work together on it. We're making 2 apps; "Attention Seeker" and "Attention Grabber". The specifications are…..

Attention Seeker
Foreground application
Transparent window in kiosk mode that is above a video.
See http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2002/tn2062.html
Gets RFID tag from an attached scannerProcesses this tag and brings up a message and maybe a picture (details collected by Attention Grabber). Trying to avoid using an SQL database to store pictures.
Sort of dash board effect with the application going from Transparent to translucent and then back again.
Log this somewhere.

Attention Grabber

Gets the detail for an RFID tag
User scans the tag, enters details and gets their picture taken
Log the details somewhere, which are called up by the Attention Seeker application.

Backend
The backend is going to be a simple WebObjects app which will take care of persisting the data.
Tags: rfid, , , ,
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The RFID setup!

April 10, 2006

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We have been working with a test set up, trying out various software and hardware solutions, and after an initial period of not much going on, we've now got our preferred setup defined. I want to outline it here….

Issues
It may be useful to outline the issues we have faced with using RFID to impact on video content within the gallery. Firstly, our aims as the technology partner are to research what can and what cannot be done with RFID, and helping Sara translate that into a valuable audience experience. As RFID is about interaction, the audience is the experiment as much as the work is and so the audience / art interface is very transparent. By asking the audience to actively 'pay attention' they are willing participants in this data exchange.

Architecture
So… we are currently using the RFID reader kit from FEIG. It is connected via USB to a Mac. (We had to use a PC to set the box up to work in that way, but it now works with a Mac). We are then using the RFID reader basically as a keyboard. It outputs the serial number of the tag, we can read that in as text.

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We have made a simple Cocoa application to handle what we do with that output. So then we can use junXion from STEIM, with Isadora, or potentially use Isadora on its own.

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We can assign different actions in Isadora to different events from the RFID box.

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(Video before and after the Isadora effect triggered by the RFID 'attention'.) We can also potentially write to the tags. This may be a great way of 'registering' participants. The participants will then take their data away with them as they leave with their 'attention card'.

We will document the detailed set up for reference later on.
Tags: rfid, , , , .

junXion from STEIM

April 8, 2006

STEIM

steim (the studio for electro-instrumental music) is the only independent live electronic music centre in the world that is exclusively dedicated to the performing arts.  I have recently been reading their site and looking at their products with interest.  They also run workshops and give performances using their technology.

From their site: "The foundation's artistic and technical departments supports an international community of performers and musicians, and a growing group of visual artists, to develop unique instruments for their work. steim invites these people for residencies and provides them with an artistic and technical environment in which concepts can be given concrete form. It catalyzes their ideas by providing critical feedback grounded in professional experience. These new creations are then exposed to a receptive responsive niche public at steim before being groomed for a larger audience."

junXion is a software application for audio/music performers, art installation makers, theatre makers etc. 

junXion is a Mac OS X data routing application that allows the connection of any USB game controller and defines, in an easy user interface, the translation of each key or joystick action into a specific MIDI event. The resulting MIDI data is then available to any audio/music software that runs on that Mac or can be send to external MIDI interfaces.

We could use steim's junXion software to output MIDI commands that allow us to manipulate video.  It may be that we use this in conjunction with Isadora.  Even if we don't use junXion this time – it is well worth taking a look at it.

Isadora from Troika Tronix

March 19, 2006

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The choice of what manipulation tool to use is becoming more pressing to me. We may have to build patches or modules that will beable to read the RFID information we are generating.
I’ve seen VidVox Grid, Jitter(MaxMSP), Isadora and ArKaos (all Mac based) programmes in use and each look simple (apart from Jitter!), effective and stable. Where Grid and ArKaos I’ve only seen in use in VJ situations and I know Isadora is used in performance situations.

I’ve spoken Isadora creator Mark Coniglio who thinks the manipulation will be possible, he said “If they [the readers] output serial (RS-232) data it could be possible. Right now, Isadora only _sends_ serial data. But it has the capability to receive, I’ve just not implemented it yet.”

I’m really looking forward to working with Isadora again!
While looking around at software I spotted ArtMatic and Bliss Paint that seem to be graphical, animation generation tools, using images, textures and effects. I’m thinking about dowloading the demos to generate some video to be used as effects for my active screens.

Tagsware

March 10, 2006

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We have downloaded a trial of Tagsware and as soon as we get our dev kit, we’ll beging evaluating this software. It does far more than we need for our arts project, but it looks pretty impressive, who knows we might find some quirky stuff to do with it. Tagsware is partuicularly impressive as it runs on a UNIX platform; so we’ll hoepfully run it on Mac OS X Server and use its Java capabilities tointegrate with a WebObjects Application!