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Alternative Interfaces

Alternative hardware or software paradigms of the interfaces—e.g., haptic, augmented, immersive, non-standard physical or screen navigation systems, etc. (Objects in this category may also be included in other categories related to individual hardware or software topics.)

The Lost Ring Alternate Reality Game Transliteracies Research Report

Find the Lost Ring is a multiplayer alternate reality game created to promote the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

“The Lost Ring was a global, multi-lingual alternate reality game that united players in a quest to recover ancient Olympic secrets. It centered around Ariadne, a lost Olympic athlete from a parallel universe.

Discreetly sponsored by McDonald’s, the experience engaged younger audiences who dislike overt marketing” (www.thelostring.com).

Starter Links: The Lost Ring Home Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lindsay Brandon Hunter

World Without Oil Alternate Reality Game Transliteracies Research Report

“A massively collaborative imagining of the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis” (worldwithoutoil.org).

“WORLD WITHOUT OIL is a serious game for the public good. WWO invited people from all walks of life to contribute “collective imagination” to confront a real-world issue: the risk our unbridled thirst for oil poses to our economy, climate and quality of life. It’s a milestone in the quest to use games as democratic, collaborative platforms for exploring possible futures and sparking future-changing action. WWO set the model for using a hot net-native storytelling method (‘alternate reality’) to meet civic and educational goals. Best of all, it was compellingly fun” (worldwithoutoil.org).

Starter Links: World Without Oil Home Page | ITVS Interactive

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lindsay Brandon Hunter

The Lost Experience Transliteracies Research Report

Between seasons two and three of the television show Lost, ABC launched “The Lost Experience,” an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) designed to maintain viewer interest in the show. “The Lost Experience,” like many ARGs, incorporated a variety of media into its implementation. Players were encouraged to watch commercials that aired during the last episodes of season two in order to be notified of relevant websites that would provide clues to the game. In addition to websites, users watched mini-movies, read advertisements, and a tie-in novel. They were also directed towards recordings and podcasts over the course of “The Lost Experience.”

Starter Links: Interview with creators | Wikipedia article | Lostpedia

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Renee Hudson

KNFB Readers for the Visually Impaired

The KNFB Classic Reader was developed by Ray Kurzweil in association with the National Federation of the Blind and Envision Technology. About the size of a PDA, the reader uses a camera to take pictures of text and and using text-to-speech technology, reads the content aloud. The user can store information for future reference and transfer the information to a computer.

The company also offers a mobile reader for the Nokia N82 phone. In addition to the reader functions, users can access the phone and PDA functions of the device.

Starter Links: KNFB Announcement on Envision’s web site | A Washington Business Journal article detailing plans to release a cell-phone based reader | KNFB Reading Technology Inc. home page | Classic Reader page on KNFB web site | Mobile Reader on KNFB web site

Zoomable Map Image Collection Sensemaking System (ZooMICSS): The Katrina/Rita Context

Zoomable Map Image Collection Sensemaking System (ZooMICSS), recombines and organizes photos of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

Developed by the Interface Ecology Lab at Texas A&M, the Zoomable Map Image Collection Sensemaking System (ZooMICSS) enacts Participant Action Research (the development of technology with rather than for the New Orleans community) to visualize user photos of the hurricane’s effects. The project was conceived in response to the drastic growth of locative multimedia. Photographs are organized both geographically and according to different visual and semantic connections between them. Users of the ZooMICSS system are able to compare destruction and rebuilding across the city and to browse the images in a meaningful way. The creators conceptualize the project as a collective visual history and a tool for residents to retell the stories of the event.

Starter Links: ZooMICSS Project Site | combinFormation | Interface Ecology Website (Texase A&M)

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Nicole Satrosielski

CollageMachine/combinFormation

Web-recombiner program that applies Andruid Kerne’s theory of “interface ecology.”

Created by Andruid Kerne and the Interface Ecology Lab at Texas A&M, CollageMachine allows users to explore a recombinant information space, where different web elements surface, blend, and adapt to their browsing. The program automatically seeks out and imports media elements of interest and continuously streams these elements into the user’s field of view. Thus, the user is able to locate information and to generate conceptual links that may not have been possible with a traditional web browser. CollageMachine has been further developed in the Interface Ecology Lab as combinFormation, an agent-driven tool that can be used online to build collage-style combinations of visual and textual scraps from web sites, allowing the user then rearrange and reprioritize the found-data to facilitate the discovery of relations.

Starter Links: Andruid Kerne’s home page | combinFormation | Interface Ecology Website (Texase A&M)

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Nicole Satrosielski

Valence

Valence is a software program written by Ben Fry to dynamically render complex information as a visual, three-dimensional, and relational representation. It has been produced and installed in multiple versions that take various inputs. The original version, which ‘reads’ novels, was installed in 2001 at Ars Electronica in Austria and appeared in the film Minority Report. The latest version, which visualizes genetic information, was installed in 2002 at the Whitney Biennial in New York and appeared in the film Hulk. Images and quick time movies of various instantiations of Valence can be viewed at Fry’s website

Starter Links: Ben Fry’s home page

Intelligent Fridge Magnets

Modeled after the various types of refrigerator poetry magnets, the Viktoria Institute’s intelligent fridge magnets are aware of the other magnets surrounding them. The magnets can categorize the type of word (noun, verb, etc.) that is shown on each 16-character lcd display and will learn grammar rules by evaluating relationships between the magnets that are placed next to each other. Once they learn grammar rules, the magnets can substitute words from the same category to make new sentences.

Starter Links: Viktoria Institute website | Article on the Australian Broadcasting Company website

Tag Crowd

A tool that allows users to create tag clouds of any text.

“When we look at a tag cloud, we see not only a richly informative, beautiful image that communicates much in a single glance. We see a whole new approach to text.

Potential uses for tag clouds extend far outside the online realm: as topic summaries for written works, as name tags for conferences, as resumes in a single glance, as analyses for survey data, as visual poetry; the list goes on. ” (TagCrowd website).

Starter Links: TagCrowd | Post on SmartMobs.com

agoraXchange-Make the Game Change the World

“agoraXchange is an online community for designing a massive multi-player global politics game challenging the violence and inequality of our present political system. Phase I was launched as a commission for the Tate Online on 15 March 2004 and now contains a database of ideas for the rules, game environment, and site look-and-feel.”

agoraXchange.net

Following is a quote from the game manifesto:

“Our present political institutions are not natural or inevitable, but an experiment gone awry, a utopia for the paranoid. We seek collaborators for bringing an end to the system of nation-states, the demise of rules rendering us passive objects tied to identities and locations given at birth. We call on all communities of and for the imagination, for creative thinkers and visionaries, including citizens, activists, artists, scholars, political leaders, and the stateless, to eliminate those laws requiring us to live and be seen largely as vessels for ancestral identities. We seek to develop in agoraXchange and elsewhere laws that will privilege creativity, empathy, and freedom.”

Self Organizing Maps

“The SOM is an algorithm used to visualize and interpret large high-dimensional data sets. Typical applications are visualization of process states or financial results by representing the central dependencies within the data on the map.

The map consists of a regular grid of processing units, “neurons”. A model of some multidimensional observation, eventually a vector consisting of features, is associated with each unit. The map attempts to represent all the available observations with optimal accuracy using a restricted set of models. At the same time the models become ordered on the grid so that similar models are close to each other and dissimilar models far from each other.”
http://www.cis.hut.fi/research/som-research/som.shtml

The map that can be seen through the following link is a great application of the SOM idea made by Andre Skupin:

In Terms of Geography

“Description of Content:
Visualization of the geographic knowledge domain based on more than 22,000 conference abstracts submitted to the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (1993-2002). Landscape features express the degree of topical focus, with elevated areas corresponding to more well-defined, topical regions and low-lying areas corresponding to a mingling of various topics. Dominant terms are used as labels for topical regions.
Description of Unique Features:
The most unique aspect of this visualization is its combination of intense computation with geographic metaphors and cartographic design considerations. From a computational perspective, the use of a self-organizing map consisting of a large number of neurons (10,000) is fairly unique. The final map presented here aims to explore how far we can go in the design of map-like information visualizations. Its use of a range of label sizes (from very large to very small) on a large-format map and the omission of a legend are aimed at challenging traditional notions of interactivity, by encouraging viewers to vary their distance from the map and instigating discussion.”

Moving Canvas Transliteracies Research Report

Designed by Frédéric Eyl, Gunnar Green and Richard The, “Moving Canvas” is a system that projects words and images on the inside of subway tunnels. The project was conceived and designed in 2005 as part of a digital media class at the University of the Arts Berlin.

“Affordable mobile video-projections will offer a vast range of different forms of use and abuse of this technology soon. While this will certainly be of great interest to the advertising industry it could also extend the idea of re-conquest of public space often only reduced to graffiti and streetart.

Our contribution to this is the idea of a parasite. Parasite is an independant projection-system that can be attached to subways and other trains with suction pads. Using the speed of the train as parameter for the projected content, the projection starts with the train moving inside a tunnel” (Project page at University of the Arts Berlin).

Starter Links:
Project page at the University of the Arts Berlin | High Resolution video | Frédéric Eyl’s website

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Kate Marshall

SnOil

SnOil was conceived and designed in 2005 by Martin Frey, a student in a digital media class entitled “Sensitive Skins” at the Berlin University of the Arts.

SnOil uses electromagnets and ferrofluid to present viewers with with a liquid reading surface upon which words appear and disappear, leaving no trace behind. In addition to to being a reading interface, SnOil can also be programmed for simple interactive games.

Starter Links: Project page at the Berlin University of the Arts | A video demo of SnOil

Plastic Logic

British-based company developing portable electronic reading devices.

“Plastic Logic is building the first commercial manufacturing facility targeted at flexible active-matrix display modules for ‘take anywhere, read anywhere’ electronic reader products. It will utilise Plastic Logic’s unique process to fabricate active-matrix backplanes on plastic substrates which, when combined with an electronic-paper frontplane material, will be used to create display modules that are thin light and robust. This will enable a digital reading experience that is much closer to paper than any other technology.” (From Plastic Logic’s “Products” page.)

Starter Links: Plastic Logic | Popgadget article | Financial Times article by Peter Marsh

MyStickies

A way of bookmarking that goes beyond storing the site name and URL, MyStickies allows users to take notes and store “stickies” on web pages all over the web. Similar to del.icio.us and Digg, MyStickies stores the user’s information online so it may be accessed from any computer around the world. MyStickies works through a Firefox extension or a bookmarklet. Extensions are currently in the works for Internet Explorer and Safari.

Starter Links: Lifehacker post | MyStickies website

BiblioRoll

“BiblioRoll is a device for the reading activity in ubiquitous computing environment. BiblioRoll is shaped cylindrical with scroll interaction and a display divided into three, which suggests a different appearance from traditional books. With this device, users can read by combining or comparing with the information from the books they have or from the ones spread everywhere. In addition, it is possible to put meta-data on them. BiblioRoll enables to treat
these operations easily in a hand. Therefore, it makes users experience a totally different way of reading from traditional books or e-books. Using BiblioRoll gives not only an experience of reading but a new experience of gaining knowledge.” (Okude Laboratory website)

Starter Links: Okude Laboratory website | BiblioRoll concept page

HP’s Misto Coffee Table PC

“Misto is a coffee table with a large touch-screen display built into the top of the table. The idea is to allow a group to congregate around the table and share pictures, play board games, or peruse a map, said Pere Obrador, project manager in HP’s imaging technology department.” (CNet News.com)

Starter Links: CNet article | Gizmodo post |

PCs for Poets

An Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), the PC for Poets was designed by Crispin Jones. With the goal of marrying technology and traditional craftmanship, Jones designed the PC for Poets as both a visual and tactile artifact. It is modeled after traditional Japanese writing boxes, with all surfaces receiving equal design attention. Both the top and bottom are designed to be aesthetically and tactilely appealing and to engage the attention of those surrounding the PC user. The interface has no buttons or keyboard and is operated solely using tablet technology.

Starter Links: The project page at Mr. Jones’ website | we make money not art writeup | UMPC.com

The Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices

“Kitab-al Hiyal (The Book of Ingenious Mechanical Devices) documents the mechanical description of various hydraulic machines, written in 1206 by Al Jazari, an irrigation engineer who was employed in the palace of the Artuklu Sultanate in today’s south-eastern Turkey. The book contains approximately 300 automated devices including their construction and usage information – all illustrated with technical drawings in the style of miniature painting.
One of the most important aspects of this book is its visualization techniques such as showing the important parts of mechanisms separately in a bigger scale, constructing mechanisms step-by-step from parts to whole, and cross sectioning for depicting inner layers. Another characteristic of this manuscript as an interface archetype is the attention given not only to the explained mechanisms with their functional structure but also to the outer layer that creates and enhances the illusion of artificial life. The fairytale figures on the outermost layers of the mechanisms further serves the purpose of entertaining the guests of Artuklu Palace.”

Starter Links: Water Pouring Automaton | Elephant Clock

Electronic Literature Collection, Volume I

Published in October 2006, the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume I has been made simultaneously available on free CD-rom and online. The collection is published by the Electronic Literature Organzation and edited by N. Katherine Hayles, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and Stephanie Strickland.

“The 60 works included in the Electronic Literature Collection present a broad overview of the field of electronic literature, including selected works in new media forms such as hypertext fiction, kinetic poetry, generative and combinatory forms, network writing, codework, 3D, and narrative animations. Contributors include authors and artists from the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and Australia. Each work is framed with brief editorial and author descriptions, and tagged with descriptive keywords. The CD-ROM of the Collection runs on both Macintosh and Windows platforms and is published in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. Free copies of the CD-ROM can be requested from The Electronic Literature Organization.” (Electronic Literature Organization).

Starter Links: Electronic Literature Collection, Volume I | Press Release announcing the collection | The original Call for Works |

The Temporary Printing Machine

“The Temporary Printing Machine, one of the latest works by Random International, highlights the ephemeral quality of digital data. The installation functions as a big canvas onto which any kind of digital content can be “printed” out as a monochrome image. Images and text are not printed with ink, but with UV light onto a light reactive surface which allows the content to stay visible for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. The painting then fades away, leaving space for a new one immediately and creating an infinite stream of disappearing data” (we make money not art).

Starter Links: we make money not art post | rAndom International site (includes video)

El MuroTransliteracies Research Report

“El Muro” was developed by Willy Sengewald and Richard The as part of the Digital Media class at the Berlin University of the Arts. The project literally invokes “the writing on the wall” (specifically the Berlin Wall) as a statement about political communication and ephemera.

“”El Muro” is situated in the middle of a room, like a monolith from another planet (the appearance reminds of the alien monolith in 2001 Space Odyssey), and repeats the statements over and over again. These diminish immediately after they’ve been written, just like the political statements (ideas/utopias/protest) in the real world appear and diminish after some time, and just like the way these political graffitos work: people write them to adress the cityzens of their city without even reaching them” (Berlin University of the Arts).

Starter Links: “El Muro” page at Berlin University of the Arts | we make money not art post | Video of “El Muro”

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Kate Marshall

Okitegami

Okude Laboratory’s Okitegami transmits email between physical epaper and tablet display and composition devices..

“Letters are arguably much richer media for communication than emails. The subtlety of handwriting and the richness of the context in which we read and write letters are what we may be losing in exchange for the convenience and speed of digital communications. Okitagami is another example of trying to bring together the best of both letters and emails” ().

Starter Links: we make money not art post | Okude Laboratory’s Okitegami project page (in Japanese)

Aegis Hyposurface

Developed by the Spatial Information Architecture Lab (SIAL) at RMIT University in Melbourne, Aegis explores interactive, indeterminate space.

“The Aegis Hyposurface is an art/architecture device that effectively links information systems with physical form to produce dynamically variable, tactile ‘informatic’ surfaces. Aegis is perhaps the world’s first such dynamic screen…. We therefore think of the Aegis Hyposurface as a giant sketchpad for a new age, a now 3-dimensional absorptive medium that allows all manner of graphic and glyphic sketching.”

Starter Links: SIAL’s Aegis Hyposurface project page | The Junction Hypospace proposal

Transliteracies Research ReportBrown University’s Cave Writing Workshops

Started in 2002, Brown University’s Cave Writing Workshops utilize an immersive environment to explore the intersections of text, sound, visuality, narrative, and space.

“Powered by a high-performance parallel computer, the Cave is an eight-foot cube, wherein the floor and three walls are projected with high-resolution stereo graphics to create a virtual environment, viewed through special “shutter-lens” glasses. The Cave Writing Workshop has introduced a Macintosh sound server to provide positional sound and augment the Cave’s performance potential, surrounding the “reader” with dynamic three-dimensional sound as well as visuals. It has brought text into this highly visual environment in the composing of narrative and poetic works of art, and has experimented with navigational structures more akin to narrative, and in particular hypertext narrative, than to the predominant forms of spatial exploration.” (Cave Writing Workshop website)

Starter Links: Cave Writing website | Brown Center for Computation and Visualization | Brown University Computer Graphics Group Cave Overview

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Nicole Starosielski

Collex Transliteracies Research Report

Developed by ARP (Applied Research in Patacriticism) in collaboration with NINES (Networked Interface for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship), Collex allows a user to access resources from nine different online scholarly resources. Using semantic web technologies, Collex facilitates collaborative research and access to a variety of sources, while retaining the unique characteristics of each source. Resources are added on an on-going basis as they are evaluated by the NINES editorial team.

“Users of the web-based NINES aggregation can now, through Collex 1.0:

  • perform text searches on finding aids for all 45,000 digital objects in the system;

  • search full-text content across participating sites (currently Rossetti, Swinburne, and Poetess);

  • browse common metadata fields (dates, genres, names, etc.) across all objects in a non-hierarchical, faceted manner;

  • constrain their search and browse operations to generate highly-individualized results;

  • create personal accounts on the system to save and share their research work;
    publicly tag, privately annotate, and ultimately “collect” digital objects located through Collex or in browsing NINES-affiliated sites;

  • browse their own and others’ collections in an integrated sidebar interface;
    and discover new, related objects of interest through the Collex “more like this” feature”.
(from the NINES Collex press release)

Starter Links: Collex | NINES website | ARP Collex Blog | ARP Webpage

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Kim Knight

Bookworm

“The Bookworm is a portable Braille reading device in walkman size. It provides easy access to literature in electronic form. Books stored within the Bookworm can be read tactile in Braille with 8 Braille cells. The ergonomic shape of the Bookworm makes reading a real pleasure. The concave Braille cells of the Bookworm follow the shape of your finger tips which makes it ideal for reading.” (from the Handy Tech website)

Starter Links: Handy Tech

Refreshable Braille Display

A refreshable braille display is a device which attachs to a computer and translates text on the screen into braille. Generally one line at a time, software for the device translates each character into braille by raising raised electromechanical pins on a tactile keyboard.

Starter Links: Refreshable Braille Display on Wikipedia | University of Toronto Adaptive Technology Resource Center

Margaret Minsky

Researcher of interest who specializes in “haptic interfaces.”

“Margaret Minsky is an internationally-known researcher in the field of haptic interfaces (computational interfaces that simulate objects what you can touch and feel), as well as a contributor in computer graphics, educational technology, and human-computer interaction. She developed the first technique for creating haptic textures, a Lateral-Force Algorithm, while at the MIT Media Lab. Her comments on haptics have been featured in the New York Times and she now presents invited teaching and lectures in the USA and Japan, as well as serving on program committees and conference review boards.

Holding a doctorate from MIT, she was among the first ten technical staff at Interval Research Corporation, and is now a consultant. She also founded a design/manufacturing company to produce innovative clothing and textile processing. Her previous positions include Research Director at Atari Cambridge Laboratory. Her research has been published in conference proceedings in the fields of computer graphics, haptics, and mechanical engineering, and she served as editor and contributor to a book about the Logo programming language, LogoWorlds.? (From the web site).

Starter Links: Margaretminsky.com

The Tilty Tables Transliteracies Research Report

The Tilty Tables are part of Xerox PARC’s reading experiments of 2000. The experiment consists of three “tilty tables” that explore different aspects of reading. Tilty Table #1, The Reading Table, provides a non-linear interface to a text as a way to explore reading extraordinarily large documents. The second, The Tall Tale Table, uses the syntactical rules of the English language in order to construct nonsense tales. The Peace Table, the third in the experiment, translates the word “peace” into different languages as a way of exploring whether reading can bring about peace on Earth.

“There are three Tilty Tables placed across the front of the gallery. Each Tilty Table is a three-by-three-foot-wide white square resting on a metal podium. The table is attached in such a way as to allow it to be tilted in all directions. Projected on to the white surface of each table is a high-resolution image, so that it appears as if the table is itself a glowing screen. When visitors tilt the table the images on its surface change in direct response.

How does it work? The tables sit on pneumatic shock absorbers, much like the ones used in cars to smooth out the ride. Also under each table is a digital device called “an accelerometer” which measures how quickly something is getting faster or slower. (Acceleration means rate of change. For example, a car going from 0 to 60 is accelerating. A car moving at a steady 60 miles per hour is not accelerating at all.) As it turns out, an accelerometer can also measure tilt, much the same way that the bubble in a carpenter’s level can measure tilt. This is because gravity is really acceleration (as Newton discovered 400 years ago). The tilt information from the accelerometers is sent to computers that use this information to determine the correct image to send to the video projectors. These projectors are mounted in the ceiling and are precisely aligned with the tables beneath them so that the images fill the white surface of the tables.” (Matt Gorbet, 2000)

Starter Links: tilty tables

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Nathan Blake

Turning the Pages

British Library projects that allows the online user to view items held in the Library’s special collections.

“Turning the Pages is the award-winning interactive program that allows museums and libraries to give members of the public access to precious books while keeping the originals safely under glass. Initially developed by and for the British Library, it is now available as a service for institutions and private collectors around the world.

Turning the Pages allows visitors to virtually ‘turn’ the pages of manuscripts in a realistic way, using touch-screen technology and interactive animation. They can zoom in on the high- quality digitised images and read or listen to notes explaining the beauty and significance of each page. There are other features specific to the individual manuscripts. In a Leonardo da Vinci notebook, for example, a button turns the text round so visitors can read his famous ‘mirror’ handwriting.” (From the Project’s web site.)

Starter Links: Turning the Pages | BBC article on their digitization of Mozart’s diaries as part of the project | BBC article about their digitization of what was to become Alice in Wonderland

The Book as Landscape: Hypermedia Berlin

New reading inteface which reconfigers the page into a landscape of interlinking information.

“The page itself, one of the most fundamental components of the book, is undergoing a material and conceptual transformation as the static, flat, delimited space of the paper page gives way to the animated, interactive, unlimited, deep space of the digital book. “Hypermedia Berlin”—which grew out of a collaboration between the Stanford Humanities Laboratory (SHL) and UCLA’s Center for Digital Humanities (CDH)—represents an excellent example of the formal innovation made possible by digital media. This project crafts an entirely new kind of page out of a gallery of highly detailed, interlinked, illustrated and annotated map interfaces, which can be navigated with an easy-to-use zoom feature. In other words, the page itself has been re-oriented to “landscape.” This alternative book form organizes its content topographically and chronologically; encouraging readers to interact with and consider its subject differently. History, the map interface tells us, is tied as strongly to place as it is to time.

Presently, the site offers 25 navigable maps, “each map, corresponding to a key date in Berlin’s nearly 800 hundred year history, consists of an array of virtual reality “hotspots,” popup information screens, and critical essays documenting and analyzing significant regions, architectural structures, events, people, and cultural products from that moment in Berlin’s history.” Using the zoom function, students and scholars can study the maps in detail. The overlay function, which makes maps semi-transparent so that one can be placed on top of the other, allows the reader to analyze changes in Berlin’s landscape.” (from next/text)

Starter Links:
project description on next/text

Mark Billinghurst, AR Volcano

“Magic Book” project that employs augmented reality to create three-dimensional images that change with each page.

“Without goggles, someone approaching AR Volcano would only see what looked like a conventional paper book propped (albeit one which is only six pages long) on a podium. With the goggle, the computer software recognizes special patterns embedded in the book and replaces them with photo-realistic 3D objects. In this photo, a volcanic eruption takes place over the course of several minutes. The image will appear no matter where the user positions themselves around the book, and a new image can be seen by simply turning the page.

AR Volcano has a significant feature that sets it apart from Billinghurst’s previous magic books and makes the technology much more suitable for creating learning environments. In earlier books — such as the Black Magic Book, which tells the story of the America’s Cup Race — the user was positioned as a passive spectator in an enhanced “reading” environment. AR Volcano, however, provides an interactive slider that allows the user to control volcano formation and eruption as well as the movement of tectonic plates. In the image above, the slider (a physical slider attached to the book podium), is adjusted so that the volcano is erupting at a rapid pace; in the image below, the slider is adjusted downwards so that the movement of tectonic plates on the earth’s surface occurs more gradually. The audio narrative also adjusts, so that it keeps pace with the user’s movement through the pages of the book.” (from the next/text web site.)

Starter Links: next/text’s works in progress page

Peter Lunenfeld (Ed.), Mediawork Pamphlet SeriesTransliteracies Research Report

Project from the MIT press that couples traditional (print) book technologies with new media innovations.

“Mediawork Pamphlets pair leading writers and contemporary designers to explore art, literature, design, music, and architecture in the context of emergent technolgies and rapid economic and social change.” (from the Media Pamphlets web site)

Starter Links: Media Pamphlets | Katherine Hayles’ Writing Machines

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Jessica Pressman

W. Bradford Paley, TextArcTransliteracies Research Report

Text-visualization and -analysis tool that processes texts (e.g., a novel) to give an overview of networks of repeated words and where repetitions occur; also retains the original text in readable form:

“A TextArc is a visual represention of a text—the entire text (twice!) on a single page. A funny combination of an index, concordance, and summary; it uses the viewer’s eye to help uncover meaning. Here are more detailed overviews of the interactive work and the prints.” (from the TextArc web site.)

Starter Links: TextArc | W. Bradford Paley’s Home Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Katrina Kimport

David Small, Illuminated Manuscript

Interactive, motion-sensitive manuscript in which text responds to the movements of the reader’s hand.

“Combining physical interfaces with purely typographical information in a virtual environment, this piece explored new types of reading in tune with human perceptual abilities.

“A handbound book is set in a spartan room. Projected typography is virtually printed into the blank pages with a video projector. Sensors embedded in the pages tell the computer as the pages are turned. In addition, sonar sensors allow visitors to run their hands over and to disrupt, combine and manipulate the text on each page. The book begins with an essay on the four freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Each page explores a different text on the topic of freedom. ” (from the Illuminated Manuscript description page on the Small Design Firm web site.)

Starter Links: Illuminated Manuscript| Small Design Firm

Jeffrey Shaw, Legible City Transliteracies Research Report

Art installation in which the viewer/participant rides a stationary bicycle in order to navigate through a “city” made of letters and text.

“In The Legible City the visitor is able to ride a stationary bicycle through a simulated representation of a city that is constituted by computer-generated three-dimensional letters that form words and sentences along the sides of the streets. Using the ground plans of actual cities – Manhattan, Amsterdam and Karlsruhe – the existing architecture of these cities is completely replaced by textual formations written and compiled by Dirk Groeneveld. Travelling through these cities of words is consequently a journey of reading; choosing the path one takes is a choice of texts as well as their spontaneous juxtapositions and conjunctions of meaning.

“The handlebar and pedals of the interface bicycle give the viewer interactive control over direction and speed of travel. The physical effort of cycling in the real world is gratuitously transposed into the virtual environment, affirming a conjunction of the active body in the virtual domain. A video projector is used to project the computer-generated image onto a large screen. Another small monitor screen in front of the bicycle shows a simple ground plan of each city, with an indicator showing the momentary position of the cyclist.” (from the project description on the artist’s web site.)

Starter Links: List of Projects| Jeffrey Shaw’s Web Page

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lisa Swanstrom

Noah Wardrip-Fruin, et al., Screen

Project created in 2002-5 in the Brown U. CAVE-Writing Worshop; features dynamic, interactive text in a CAVE environment:

“Screen was created in the ‘Cave,’ a room-sized virtual reality display. It begins as a reading and listening experience. Memory texts appear on the Cave’s walls, surrounding the reader. Then words begin to come loose. The reader finds she can knock them back with her hand, and the experience becomes a kind of play — as well-known game mechanics are given new form through bodily interaction with text. At the same time, the language of the text, together with the uncanny experience of touching words, creates an experience that doesn’t settle easily into the usual ways of thinking about gameplay or VR. Words peel faster and faster, struck words don’t always return to where they came from, and words with nowhere to go can break apart. Eventually, when too many are off the wall, the rest peel loose, swirl around the reader, and collapse…. In addition to creating a new form of bodily interaction with text through its play, Screen moves the player through three reading experiences — beginning with the familiar, stable, page-like text on the walls, followed by the word-by-word reading of peeling and hitting (where attention is focused), and with more peripheral awareness of the arrangements of flocking words and the new (often neologistic) text being assembled on the walls.” (from )

Starter Links: Description with images on Noah Wardrip Fruin’s Hyperfiction.org site | Iowa Review Web Interview with Noah Wardrip Fruin (with videos of Screen) | Brown U. CAVE-Writing Worshop

FogScreenTransliteracies Research Report

New digital projection display device; UCSB’s Four Eyes Lab is currently working on adding interactivity to it:

“The FogScreen is a new invention which makes objects seem to appear and move in thin air! It is a screen you can walk through! The FogScreen is created by using a suspended fog generating device, there is no frame around the screen. The installation is easy: just replace the conventional screen with FogScreen. You don´t need to change anything else – it works with standard video projectors…. With two projectors, you can project different images on both sides of the screen.” (from Fogscreen company site)

Starter Links: Fogscreen home page | UCSB Four Eyes Lab’s Interactive FogScreen project

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Marc Breisinger and James K. Ford