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InstantShareCam
Everyone a news producer

Author: Akemi Tazaki (Japan)
Supervisors: Jan-Christoph Zoels and Philip Tabor

Idea/problem/context The mobile phone has shown how events can be ‘co-directed’ by all their participants. The resulting experiences have a democratic, impulsive unpredictability. Take events covered live on TV. Traditionally a producer directs the camera operators and, switching between incoming image streams, selects which is currently broadcast. This project imagines instead a group of ordinary citizens, each with a videocamera, simultaneously shooting and co-directing coverage of an event in real time. The result – a single, instantly edited image stream, broadcast live or recorded, without further editing, for later viewing – would be vividly immediate.

What it is InstantShareCam, designed for a near future of wireless broadband networks, is a hardware specification and software application allowing groups of people, each with a camera, to shoot and edit videos collaboratively and ‘on the fly’. Simple controls on each camera, and an intuitive interface on its screen, allow each to see what the others are shooting and decide between themselves which stream takes precedence.

How it works A set-up routine identifies the group members, who can speak to each other through a built-in microphone and a headset. A three-pressure ‘record/broadcast’ button operates the camera: light pressure focuses the image, medium pressure records it, maximum pressure urges that it takes precedence over the other streams, also visible on-screen. Another button permits the operator to speak privately to the others via their headsets; the currently broadcast audio automatically reverts to that from another camera.

Value/Potential While InstantShareCam allows post-production editing, its innovativeness lies is its interactive qualities. These, allowing simultaneous collaborative editing of live events, responds to a more general hunger for, and toleration of, more spontaneously organized experiences. Its basic principle is applicable to the professional as well as the consumer market, and indeed to other portable devices like mobile phones or digital camcorders.

download QuickTime Movie (video by Andrea Pierri) - 1.38 MB


Akemi Tazaki
2005 graduate
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