A rather lovely art installation that maps activity throughout a building using webcams and other sensors, representing it in a large, skeletal 3 dimensional LED structure which changes as the building’s use changes. It is described as a ‘continuous spatial log, concretising the movements as much as the monuments of form within the building.’
I love this idea – augmenting social navigation in meat-space, heightening a sense of community and social presence, and also looking incredibly cool.
For those on smaller budgets and with limited space, it might be inspirational rather than imitable: we might try something similar with a smaller number of sensors, a smaller space and maybe a simpler 2D visualisation on a display panel or two. I guess the security-minded might be a little concerned about what it might tell malicious people, which is a potential weakness of social software in general. On the other hand, there are visualisations that could be both helpful and less revealing than the lighthive, albeit losing the potential of social navigation. At the University of Brighton, for instance, which is spread over multiple campuses and multiple towns, a sense of activity throughout the university might help to bind it all together and reduce the current sense of fragmentation.
Created:Sat, 09 Jun 2007 04:25:39 GMT

Posted: June 8, 2007, 10:25 pm

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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