NewsThings combines news, information, ambient design approaches and the Internet of Things (IoT) to explore how people engage and interact with co-designed connected objects.
Partners include the Media Innovation Studio, Trinity Mirror Regionals and Thomas Buchanan creative agency. The project places users at the centre of the innovation process and creates physical-digital prototypes that convey news and editorial content, which will be placed in people’s homes or public spaces.
NewsThings also examines IoT infrastructure and examines how IoT-driven data could benefit news publishers, how new content management systems can power connected objects and the commercial opportunities that NewsThings create.
Homing, a new interactive sound art work created by artists Jen Southern and Sam Thulin with the Media Innovation Studio at University of Central Lancashire. Based on the original letters of soldiers from the trenches of WW1, Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home.
At the Roll of Honour, a sound composition from the cemeteries at the Somme can be heard, with all the sensory qualities of the local conditions; wind, rain, whistling, stonework. Out on the Flag Market, these sounds give way to fragments of stories from the men in the trenches.
Approaching the Cenotaph, the soldiers’ words are disrupted by ever intensifying GPS interference. This distant, targeting technology of modern day warfare, creates a sonic fog through which individual voices can no longer be heard, reflecting the difficulty of communication through the constant battle between signal and noise.
Homing is a special commission by In Certain Places and Preston Remembers, developed with the support of the Lancashire Infantry Museum, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and the Centre for Mobilities Research at the University of Lancaster.
The broadcasting and discovery of relevant information is one of the pressing concerns of the 21st Century. We know there is an increasing take up of mobile devices, in which consumers are increasingly demanding access to and engagement with new forms of media ‘anytime anywhere’. However, a number of challenges stand in the way of a truly ubiquitous access and retrieval of content. Research to date shows that findability and sustainability persist as two key challenges for the free flow of information in restricted environments. This is particularly true in countries with large areas that remain remote. A step change is needed to meet the needs of millions of communities worldwide.This project researches the impact of hyperlocal proximity broadcasting on communities using WiCastr devices.
This pilot is designed to overcome a central problem: providing relevant information in remote locations where connectivity is either non existent, problematic, costly and simply not reliable, and where media is, or may be controlled with biased agendas. People want to read their local blogger but find he is drowned out by the hectic and noisy online Google search-driven place of the Internet. They are at the local post office and want to know about the church service times, or when the post office is open but have no mobile data coverage. They are at a protest or concert and want to interact with all the other people at the event, without having to use Facebook or the Internet which may be otherwise controlled or restricted. Others might need valuable business or medical services but can’t access the Internet because the network has been damaged or shut down.
deliver innovative hardware devices in hard to reach places
– test the ability to act as a digital ‘word of mouth’ service amplifying local content providers (such as bloggers, youth groups, charities) in their local communities by making content available for free
– connect people in new ways without the need for the Internet, applications, data plans or beacons and explore how to reduce the reliance on the gatekeepers of the Internet, such as Google and Facebook through new digital content ecosystems
– create new knowledge about real world data capture and analysis
– create valuable field knowledge about the Internet of Everything through a hyperlocal cloud platform providing Fog connectivity anywhere and anywhere we want.