The Mobile and Environmental Media Lab is currently exploring location-specific mobile storytelling. This research investigates the idea of ambient storytelling and how the built environment can act as a storytelling entity that engages and interacts with people in specific spaces. Development of personalized responsive environments arise as people spend time in these spaces and build a relationship with the spaces they spend time in every day. By integrating context-aware interactions and access to backstory about an environment, ambient stories emerge and can be accessed through mobile and pervasive computing technologies and applications.
Our current research concepts came out of early research about new models for mobile advertising in which the goal was to create compelling experiences in contrast to the current state of mobile advertising, which relies on banner ads or text messages. The idea of backstory, location and context-specific information about products and objects became a recurrent theme when thinking about new forms of advertising. This became the groundwork for our current research into ambient and mobile storytelling.
In addition, the practice of lifelogging, or documenting and broadcasting one’s daily activities with wearable computing devices, has been another topic of our research. However, instead of people documenting their activities, we are focusing on designing lifelogs for the built environment. These lifelogs for physical spaces combine various building, environmental and human sensor data, as well as collaboratively-authored character development. These elements, when combined, create the groundwork for ambient, mobile storytelling.