Breath Games Paper @ ACE2011

I’m just back from ACE2011, which had its usual array of the bizzare, the entertaining and the occasionally downright ridiculous. Met some nice people, ate some nice food and generally had fun. Hiroshi Ishi (pictured above) gave the first keynote, nicely circular since he also gave the keynote at the first ACE I went to in Valencia.

I was presenting a paper on the various breath based games we been developing, in particular talking about the different ways breath can fit into an interface stack. The paper was called: Breathalising games: understanding the potential of breath control in game interfaces and is available through the publications part of this site.

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The Experiment Live

The CCTV-esque view on the cinema screen...

The vicarious software architecture got its first outing last night, when the mayhem horror film festival presented The Experiment Live, a one night only live performance in which four amateur paranormal investigators go to hang out in the basement of Lee Rosy’s Tearoom in Nottingham and have the bejesus scared out of them while searching for the ghost of the infamous “sobbing boy.”

To deliver this event, vicarious was employed for the delivery of  live biodata alongside video to a cinema audience. The complexity of the system was pretty staggering (at least in terms of wires). Unfortunately not everything went quite according to plan on the night – we struggled to get wireless connections to the biodata packs. Still the script worked really well and feedback has been generally positive.

Untangling that lot was not fun. Twice.

In fact, despite the problems with connectivity, the system itself worked beautifully. More on Vicarious soon.

Since the event, we have recreated what should have happened on the night and produced the following showreel:

Discovery Channel – The Broncomatic

Thrill Laboratory feature on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, in particular talking about adaptive rides – of course this means a demo of the Broncomatic 🙂 Always fun to have people on it. I maintain its the most entertaining thing we’ve yet built in the MRL.

For those who don’t know, the broncomatic is a bucking bronco (more of a bucking lozenge) controlled by your breathing. It uses a Respiration belt worn round the chest connected to a Nexus10, which is in turn connected (by bluetooth) to a laptop. The signals then control a bunch of servos which sit on top of the control panel for the bronco. Result – you breathe in and the bronco goes one way, you breathe out it goes the other. It gets faster as the game goes on and staying on for any length of time is… challenging.

Here’s the show clip in all its glory: