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Urban IXD – City|Beta|Future

What does our data look like in the future? A Distopian installation exploring the constant monitoring, tracking & targeting of citizens data in the not-so-distant future. City|Data|Future was an interactive experience that tracked users in a space, gathering data and displaying visual queues as they walked through the exhibition space.

The City that’s always watching.

BetaCity tracks your movements through the urban space. You are a node in the network, a unit travelling in the crowd. The city harvests your data trail, making your presence known, shared and visible to all.
BetaCity knows who you really are. Watching, recording and storing your information, the city chooses what to reveal. Is your true identity safe within the city walls?
The density of cities has always provided people with physical and emotional sustenance, as well as the anonymity of the crowd that we sometimes crave. In the near future this could change against a backdrop of increased technological systems both in the fabric of the city and among its citizens. Imagine a city that can continuously monitor and track our movements and habits, silently gathering data, extracting meaning and making decisions on our behalf, protecting us from harm through unseen eyes.
Is this our future? Is this a choice or is it already reality?

Purpose of the exhibition

BetaCity is a fully functioning multi-­‐user tracking system using advanced video analyzing techniques in Max MSP. Created to act as a faux interface for the “smart city”, the installation projects graphics down onto users from above, tracking and updating them as they move within the space. The software is made up of two independent sections, working in unison with the attached projection and image capturing equipment. Through analyzing an ever changing live video feed variable coordinates are produced for moving masses within the space. This allows for a dynamic interaction that is completely intuitive to the user after the first encounter.

Additional information about BetaCity, the City|Data|Future project and upcoming exhibitions can be found at the following:­‐seeing-­‐sensing-­‐sharing/

I was responsible for the whole BETACITY experience, from graphics, creative, videos and interactive tracking system and associated projection.

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