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SMS Guerilla Projection: Text in Place at WRT: Writer Response Theory




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SMS Guerilla Projector - device held by man in trenchcoat with powercord up the sleeve

Studio Troika has developed the SMS Guerilla Projector - a portable projector with output wired to the screen display of a cellphone. SMS text messages sent to the cellphone appear on the projection, which can be used on walls, street signs, vehicles and pedestrians as a kind of graffiti ephemera.

While I was expecting the trailer movie to showe a stationary setup with a series of text messages streaming onto some surface as they arrived, the trailer consists of short single-screen message clips, each being briefly hand-projected onto a different location. This seems to be in part due to dependency on the cellphone software for the image - presumably, sending a new text message would replace the current message (”Where are we all going?”) not with the new message, but rather with a system notice (”Read New Message Y/N?”).

SMS Guerilla Projector - freeway sign covered by projected message - WHERE ARE WE ALL GOING?

These quirky behaviors are part of the fun of homemade hardware hacks, and they are part of the current projection ‘look.’ Although the guerilla cameraman lines the image up to emphasize the SMS text, the cellphone system text (”Options”) is always visible at the bottom of the projection - the voice of the machine. Perhaps “Options” would be a good name for a performance with devices like this….

I’d like to conclude in the spirit of the halfbakery (”a communal database of original, fictitious inventions, edited by its users and
spanning many topics”) with a proposal for another piece of guerilla projection hardware. What if we connected the projector display to some piece of the new angle-sensitive technology?

Rather than being hacked to control laptop screen behavior, as with the Apple Motion Sensor, or being used to extend the screen size, as with the F-Origin IRIS, angle-sensitive projection could be used to create the impression of an x-ray-like “reveal” with a layer of data shown as the image played across the surface of a wall. This data could either be submitted via SMS or it could be location based, indexed for example via GPS - people could submit images (or a program could retrieve images) based on the growing public archives of map-connected data since the debut Flickr and of the Google Maps API, and the projectionist could reveal what people submitted to associate with a given location.

SMS Guerilla Projector - device

Angle-sensitive projection is not an application that is necessarily specific to digital text art. However it appeals to me to treat a building / wall / etc. as “a text” to be revealed rather than a projection surface separate from the message of the roving projectionist. And, once we begin to reveal, I expect there will be plenty of text to be had. I’m familiar with augmented reality in the form of the golem suits of Stephenson’s Snow Crash, the shades of Gibson’s Virtual Light, and the more modest tagging and GPS systems of today. They are text-heavy, annotating reality, and their dominant mode isn’t inscription - it is revelation.

via Coolhunting



2 Responses to “SMS Guerilla Projection: Text in Place”

  1. 1 Jeremy Douglass

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    To elaborate on projection in place, this recent BBC report details how the police recently projecting a murder victim onto a building to generate leads. Site-specific missing person information might be streamed to spatial projectors - or the kinds of pet notices and event announcements that usually grace telephone poles….

    via Boing Boing

  2. 2 sms advertising

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    That is so cool. I can only emagine the kids messing with neighbors. I have also sceene a laser sms projector at a ski resort once that you could text mesage to the mountain at night. That to was very cool.

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