This last week has been a flurry of activity in preparation for a group show tomorrow at the Kitchen Budapest. While battling a touch of the Hungarian Flu, I’ve contributed to several group projects and made some updates to Urban Echo. I will post a summary of the projects and the group later this weekend. In the mean time, here is a smoke and fire simulation I created for a Processing/WiiMote game we are demoing on Saturday.
The simulation consists of a hacked particle engine that uses random fire textures from a bunch of sources across the web. The texture colors change with time, eventually dying off as smoky textures. Here’s a picture and a link to the OpenGL-based applet and source.
Ben Myrick and I experimented with immersive projections and sound this weekend. Visitors were invited to step through the door into the shallow chamber where they were met by ascending or descending natural textures.
Urban Echo (6 Sept, 2006) (Quicktime Video: 0.6 mb) Here’s a bit of video from the first showing of Urban Echo (the working title). Urban Echo is a large-scale publicly accessible video project that is projected onto large urban faÃ§ades. For this showing, I was able to present it on the side of the beautiful Barker Center for Dance. Passersby (and those located elsewhere) are able to send text messages that appear on the screen in chronological order. Presently, I am not asking the public to respond to any particular question, but rather allowing them to have their say uncensored. One can imagine the unsavory bits that appeared later in the night as college students in cars drove by. But, despite its unresolved nature (in my mind at least) it received a very positive response. I plan to show it again several times during the next few weeks. Here’s a brief video from the opening and mini-promo-card. By the way — this piece is part of a series of artistic experiments leading up to our 2006 Artsmosis piece. Keep an eye out for that …
[Part 1] For the last several days, I have struggled to get SMSLib for Java up and running. I finally realized that my copy of RxTx was out of date, which explained my inability to establish a bluetooth serial connection with my phone. I grabbed the new universal RxTx library and now it is working. Unfortunately, the SMSServer example that comes with SMSLib did not play nicely with MySql out of the box. The documentation was a bit outdated and I had to do some serious database interface hacking/redsign to get it running.
But, I finally got the whole system running. My phone is communicating with SMSLib, which communocates with a MySql database, which is easily accessible in Processing (or Max/MSP/Jitter or any other software for that matter). The system allows addresable message routing and is sophisticated enough to flash message instructions back to participants in need of help. Now that all the hardware and basic framework is coded and running smoothly, I have to finish coding the “pretty” side of things, which has been in the works for quite some time. Hopefully this will all be working nicely for the Freshworks Show coming up in a couple weeks.
As a side note, we are planning to use this technology, along with others as the primary interface for our ArtsMosis 2006 project.
For a current project, I would like to be able to receive SMS messages, email messages, and voice messages in Processing (or other Java applications). So here’s the solution I’ve got. First of all, it is very easy to send an SMS message from one’s computer to a cell phone for free (e.g. Google’s Free SMS Service). Unfortunately, it is cheaper to give than to receive. So, since I use T-Mobile, I have decided to sign up for an unlimited SMS package, which will cost $14.99/month. They offer several other plans, such as 400 messages for $4.99 or 1000 messages for $9.99. But, since there is a bit of grant money available, a couple months of unlimited SMS doesn’t seem so bad.
So, in order to get the messages in and out of Processing, I will use the SMSLib for Java. It looks like a simple solution [edit: It’s not!]. One can connect to the phone via Bluetooth and send and receieve SMSes as needed. Luckily I have access to an old Sony T610 and a new Nokia 6103. One of the two should work. Ideally, I would like to parse and route the messages straight into a MySQL database for archival and use in multiple applications.