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Experiencing Mobile Images
Analogue interactions for richer viewing on the mobile phone

Author: Bernd Hitzeroth (South Africa)
Supervisors: Jan-Christoph Zoels and Ralph Ammer

Idea/problem/context Images do not merely represent. Their meaning depends on the context in which we experience them: the childhood photo album, the doodles on the palm of your hand, the interactive process of ‘viewing’. Sharing images through the mobile phone currently offers little ‘viewing experience’. So this project investigates richer ways to share images on the mobile.

What it is Images do not merely represent. Their meaning depends on the context in which we experience them: the childhood photo album, the doodles on the palm of your hand, the interactive process of ‘viewing’. Sharing images through the mobile phone currently offers little ‘viewing experience’. So this project investigates richer ways to share images on the mobile.

How it works In Push & Pull, for instance, images are ‘pushed’ and ‘pulled’ through a touch-screen interface to a shared viewing space; the analogue control allows a quick flashing of images, rapid firing of image sequences, or offering an image to be revealed by the other person. In Load & Shoot an image is ‘loaded’ by a gestural shortcut, then ‘fired’ at will. In Bounce a broadcast is recorded and ‘bounced’ to an offline receiver; when the receiver has finished watching it he or she gives the content a gestural response, which is automatically bounced back to the sender. A second set of ideas explores sharing digital images through physical objects like stickers or concrete walls; the phone becomes the lens through which we reveal images hidden in the real world. The interactions were prototyped using two connected touch screens and a mock camera-phone.

Value/Potential This project enhances the aesthetic and communicative value of sharing images on the mobile phone. The proposed interactions offer insights into the mobile’s unique affordances as a visual medium. Hand gestures, the real-time presence of the remote person, or a willingness to playfully co-create combine into pleasurable, meaningful visual experiences. Intimacy, surprise, tactility and play replace spectacle and high definition.

download QuickTime Movie (video by Andrea Pierri) - 2.05 MB


Bernd Hitzeroth
2005 graduate
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