BBC R&D Internet of Things

Quick notes on the BBC R&D unconference event in early November. The purpose of the event was:  to share ideas and capture thoughts about ‘playful’ IoT futures to advance IoT thinking in new domains like media, entertainment, storytelling, games and toys. The invite was extended to leaders and disruptors in this area, from makers, researchers, and academics to toy and game designers, artists and writers.

It was great to hear Durrell Bishop talking about a number of projects with Luckybites for berg, including the moshi mosters app and plush monsters – both toys which have an iphone inserted and with an app delivers content.  The plush monster can play podcasts of children’s stories., which made  me think of possibilities for Jo Hodge’s PhD research into toys and accessories to help children and parents who are seperated through illness, work or family breakdown keep in touch. Luckybites had also created the moster app for a moshi monsters toy, available at Argos, where the app enables:

four fun ways to play in Monster, Dress-up, Super Moshi or DJ Mode. Poke your monster in the eye, dress him, even listen to music through him!

The toy becomes part of a services connecting the hardware ‘toy’ with updatable content.  The conversation continued onto Toy talk – an Internet enabled toy by a couple of people who have left Pixar – to be released next year.

Another interesting talk was a short and to the point one from Steve Benford from the Horizon Digital Economy Research Centre at the
University of Nottingham on aestheticodes. These are a kind of QR code, which follows simple computational rules, enabling patterns and illustrations to to be computer readable markers. Steve talked about how it had been used by London restaurant Busaba on placemats and other items to create an experience both whilst in dining in the restaurant and afterwards (recipe downloads etc.). This may potentially have some application for our KISTproject with the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), enabling children, their families and carers to create their own codes on objects to link to the stories of their lives.

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About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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