Posts Tagged ‘openmic’

Augmented reality for Hursley

Friday, November 6th, 2009

screenshot : click for better resolution imageOne of the themes at openMIC this week was augmented reality, and a topic that came up a couple of times was Layar.

Layar is a mobile app for Android and iPhone that lets you display location-based information overlaid on a real-time camera view.

For example, the screen normally shows a viewfinder-like view from your mobile’s camera.

Search for “coffee” and a bunch of markers appear on the view, showing you where the nearest coffee shops are.

As you move the phone around, the markers follow the approximate location of the places they are showing you.

That’s assuming you want to search ‘Google Local’, but that’s not the only option. Location data is provided through “layars”, and there are layars available for location-tagged Wikipedia articles, Flickr photos, brightkite users, and more.

The interesting thing talked about at openMIC was the Layar API which lets anyone create a new Layar with their own information.

So I decided to spend a quiet Friday afternoon in the office creating a Layar for around Hursley. 🙂

This means a phone with the Layar browser installed can browse and search for points of interest around the site.

It was really very easy, so I’ll quickly outline the steps involved.


Presenting with the Twitter backchannel

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I went to Bath for openMIC this week (part conference, part barcamp – a brilliant and informative day on innovation in mobile).

The first half was made up of traditional conference-style presentations, and during one of these presentations, I noticed tweets with the #openMIC hashtag become particularly active: feedback that the presenter was missing.

I wondered about ways that the presenter could have got that feedback before finishing his talk…

thinking about fun ways presenters can get realtime audience feedback via twitter. PowerPoint VB script to embed hashtag search in slides?

This isn’t a new idea: I’ve heard of large US tech conferences where the backchannel is displayed on a second screen or projector next to the presenter’s slides. But I rarely get the chance to present where there is the facility for projecting to two screens at once.

So I got thinking about how a compromise could work: embedding a live twitter search somewhere within a presentation.

I had a bit of free time this afternoon to play with the idea a little more. As is sadly often my way, my first few ideas were needlessly overcomplicated: using macros, VBScript or something like that to try and get data from the web and embed it within my slides.

Fiddly. And prone to a number of fundamental issues, such as trying to avoid reloading the twitter search every time you change slide.

But then I had a flash of what, for want of a better word, I shall call ‘genius’. 😉

Instead of fighting to embed a website within a presentation, what about embedding a presentation within a webpage?

A little bit of playing around with code, and I managed to pull a quick proof-of-concept together.