Interactive Spaces

Ada – Intelligent Space

tiles1I worked on this project during my PhD, along with a large team of over 20 people. Ada was shown to about half a million people at the Swiss national exhibition Expo.02 in Neuchatel from 15 May 2002 to 20 October 2002. This project can bedescribed as part robot, part performance art, part public experiment, and part research project. It is described in more detail on its official web page, but think smart disco meets intelligent room and you will get the general idea. Related work on building intelligence has also been done here.

Some of the things we built and found out during the project include:

  • Interactive illuminated pressure-sensitive floor [Delbruck et al. 2007].
  • It was possible to influence where people as a group moved in the space using cues, without them noticing that this was occurring [Eng et al. 2005].
  • Changes in ambient settings of the space affected visitor moods and attitudes to the space [Eng et al. 2006].

You can see me here giving a talk about Ada on TEDx. Giving this talk was an interesting experience, not least because my videos didn’t work (even though I had tested them beforehand) and I had to ad-lib my way through a large chunk of the talk describing what was in the non-existent videos. Luckily, the organizers managed to edit the video afterwards so that you couldn’t really tell the difference.