In the spirit of our hackerspace being a place where like-minded individuals can come together and discuss artistic and technology based projects, we propose launching an epic artistic commentary on public vs private space as well as the nature of conversation and collaboration.
We will do this by wiring our couches to be isolated conversational hotspots, using the internet and webcams to allow people in other places to view and interact with people who sit on our couches.
There are lots of different ways this could be accomplished. I tentatively propose modifying each couch differently, for an array of ways to interact with the world at large (and to have the world at large interact with you)!
Concerns and variables:
A major concern - we don't want to be constantly broadcasting all of noisebridge to the internet. The couches and their cameras will be visually isolated so that participants must knowingly enter the couch environment in order to be viewed.
Another concern - some modified couches will be less mobile, less easily rearranged for events or epic hackathons. Location must be considered. Some couches on wheels?
Aesthetics - each couch will be presented as its own discrete phone booth, complete with some semblance of enclosure and 'phone booth' feeling. We will attempt to encapsulate computers in designed enclosures to add to the transporting quality of the experience.
several couches are being considered. General concerns have been raised about volume level, and some rudimentary volume controls are being considered. Like real people, we do not believe that videoconferenced people should have 'mute' buttons, but rather members can interact with them and discuss things, or be frustrated by them and practice coping techniques. We commit to making sure that no video-talking is at a volume level higher or more intrusive than regular talking.
This couch would have a monitor that led to a computer constantly running videoconference software. Anyone who wanted could call the videoconference at any time and converse with whoever was sitting on the couch. Noisebridge denizens could use the couch as a conference center, as well as it being a de facto locus for members of our international community who want to call in and see what is up.
Talk to the robot
There is a telepresence robot being developed in the space. We propose linking his charging station to a couch, so that anyone who wants to log into the robot can have an electronically assisted presence in the space, in conversation with resting, laptopping, chatting members and guests.
One or many monitors linked to ongoing chatroulette sessions would add a different flavor of total randomness to the experience. Ideal would be two to four instances, each with cameras oriented in such a way that all participant sessions are aware of and able to interact with each other, with noisebridge, the parent of this uber-session, reduced to the role of a single participant among many.
your telepresence project
want me to build you a phone booth? ok, but it has to include a couch.