Id Hide You.......


Kieron Seth# TV-Bay Magazine
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I’d Hide You.......
The 8,000 mile journey of the Olympics torch has been the surprise hit of the games so far. Each step and every handover is filmed and beamed live to connected viewers over the Internet. Easy enough for an organisation as large and technically astute as the BBC, with its wealth of resources, but in this age of new technology, surprisingly there's no costly satellite van following the action throughout its course. The BBC has turned to a new solution: bonded cellular transmission, using publicly available mobile phone networks.
“I'd Hide You” uses the same technology to achieve a 'first' no less intriguing than the BBC's. It explores the principal of experiencing reality live and interactively through a third party. The result is immersive, interactive and enthralling.
“I'd Hide You” is a real-time online video game of stealth and cunning. Developed by pioneers of interactive art and immersive theatre, Blast Theory, “I'd Hide You” is a genre-busting mix of games and TV. The concept is described by the company as follows:
“Jump on-board with a team of three runners live from the streets of Manchester as they roam the city trying to film each other. See the world through their eyes as they stream video: ducking and diving, chatting to passers-by, taking you down the back alleys to their secret hiding places. And play against your friends online at the same time. Use your wits to choose which runner to ride with. Get a snap of another runner on-screen without getting snapped.”
Like an adrenaline-filled urban hide and seek, the remote viewers are glued to their screens, while their chosen player furtively seeks out the other contestants. As soon as the competition comes into view, the viewers have to be ready to sight and snap (mouse click) the opponents to score points and stay in the game.
As the live contestants creep out of the shadows they film the nightlife, streaming the images onto the web. The action is acquired on domestic HD camcorders and relayed in real-time over the airwaves by Teradek Bond transmitters that are small and light enough to be hand carried throughout the evening. The Bond devices connected to HDMI-based Cube 250 miniature encoders for a complete streaming package; SDI models are available for professional cameras.
Bond transmits encoded video, ambient noise and player communication with great clarity; the effect is highly atmospheric; hearing the words, breathing and footsteps of the actors and passing pedestrians is both engaging and unsettling. In many ways, the effect is an internet age Blair Witch Project.
It is technology like Cube and Bond that is now making such projects financially affordable and technically achievable. Running on a number of spliced standard mobile phone networks, bonded cellular systems are low-cost to buy and operate, compared with any other wireless broadcast transmission system. Bond is all the more affordable thanks to the free Sputnik server software offered by the manufacturer, Teradek, that prepares the signals for delivery.
Did it work? “The Teradek Cube and Bond combination provided reliable solution for live streaming from multiple cameras on the street on budget the fraction of the price of anything else that we could find.” said Nick Tandavanitj of Blast Theory.
'I'd Hide You' was commissioned for a new pop-up digital arts service, a partnership between Arts Council England and the BBC. The Arts Council England is investing £2.5 million of its strategic digital innovation funds which will be made available to arts and cultural organisations via a Lottery grant programme. The BBC have committed a £2 million support package including providing the technology solution and training and mentoring for successful applicants.
The programme is designed to encourage experimentation and provide an opportunity to learn how to connect audiences using digital technologies. The service will use technology across four digital media platforms: PC, mobile devices, tablets and connected TV.
A demonstration of how the game is played is online at thespace.org or on The Space channel (Freeview HD channel 117) until the end of October 2012.
I’d Hide You was supported by Madlab, Manchester Digital Laboratory, the University of
Salford, Holdan and Teacup. It was developed by Blast Theory with support from Somethin’ Else and the University of Nottingham.

Tags: iss066 | holdan | teradek cube | teradk bond | Kieron Seth#
Contributing Author Kieron Seth#

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