We just presented our team’s hack for HackDay in London…
Here’s the science part.
The real world part(s) of the hack involved a DV cam feeding Nigel’s G4 iBook with a live feed of some pieces which represented two teams, “crabs” and “sharks” (cut from O’Reilly postcards). The camera rig – managed by Jon Hadley – was a highly technical setup involving gaffer tape and a borrowed tripod – thanks to Twitter! The iBook then used the TUIO protocol to update the coordinates of the game pieces to a web server.
The second RL part of the hack was my MacBook Pro rigged with Quicktime Broadcaster and Darwin Streaming Server, pointing at the game board. This provided a video feed that could be used within Second Life. This was technically challenging to set up due to issues connecting between the laptops on the BTOpenZone network… so someone donated us an Airport hub (again following a Twittered plea for help), and I shared my connection with Jim Purbrick who was then able to tunnel through to Second Life, as well as seeing my Quicktime stream. We experimented with a cheap USB webcam too, but the iSight just worked a lot better (positioning was “interesting” though!)
Meanwhile… in Second Life, the team of Jim Purbrick, Ben Hardill, Chris Mahoney and James Taylor built an amazing setup. We had a floating blimp (on Arcanum, the sim that Linden Lab had donated for the Hack Day event). The blimp contained a table which showed the live video feed of the game being played in real life. Below that, the sim was submerged. During the demo, Babbage Linden showed off the live feed, and then flew under the blimp. When he hit the floating buoy, a group of submarines were rezzed in that corresponded with the movement of the pieces in real life. Oh, and the subs were named after names found via the Yahoo! Answers API.
We didn’t quite have time to sort out the audio, but there were supposed to be some sonar noises as the subs were rezzed. Pretty easy to add, but we got moved around a couple of times prior to the demo, and had to disassemble our rig each time.
Someone managed to capture the blueprint for the hack on camera.
Oh, and as a complete aside – it is interesting to see the distribution of hardware and operating systems at the event. I’d say Macs dominate, Windows are probably second (I’ve only seen one running Vista but there may be more), and there are quite a few people running Linux too. Almost all of the demos and presentations seem to be run from Macs. W00t!
[ edit 19/06 - links and photos added, minor edits ]
[ edit 21/06 - added some more links to interesting Flickr photos ]