This post is a bit tech-heavy, so bear with me! I’ve just got back from a meeting of the London Girl Geek Dinners, a networking society for women who work in technology. The evening was really interesting and lots of exciting new ideas were discussed. One of the coolest things I learnt about was the idea of creating ‘MediaScapes‘. The official definition of a ‘MediaScape’ is a ‘location-based experience, game or tour’, and basically it’s a new way for people to interact with their surroundings.
All you need is a device that has both wifi internet access and built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) such as an iPaq. You select an ‘MScape‘ from the MScapers website, then, as you move through a specific space – such as a city, a zoo or a park – your position is tracked by GPS. When you reach a specific location, it triggers a delivery of images, sounds, videos or text to your device, to enrich your experience. For example, if you’re walking around a zoo, you might get extra information about the animals delivered straight to you as you reach specific enclosures, or when you’re sight-seeing, you might receive tourist tips and historical facts as you pass specific buildings.
It’s not just your location that triggers digtial media deliveries – they can be triggered by proximity to a specific place, a specific time or even a physical movement. This technology might be used in the future for GPS-based gaming. Click here to see an amazing video showing what gaming might be like soon. Surely gaming that gets the kids off the sofa and out into the real world is a good thing.
A woman in a MediaScape on Salisbury Plain
But I can foresee problems too…will there be lots of accidents as people staring at their screens don’t pay attention to dangers in the real world? Will people get confused about where to draw the line between fantasy and reality with so much overlap? Also, MScapes are designed to ‘enrich’ our experience of reality, but does the real world need enriching? Will these MScapes end up distracting us from reality instead? Only time will tell… - Ellie
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