Tag Archives: digital

App Store-ready

Late night excitement here, as we get the URL for our app entry in the iTunes App Store and Android Marketplace.

It occurs to me recently, that like many others I’ve been thinking about this augmented reality stuff for over 10 years, only unlike many others I’ve not found anyone who could understand what I was saying to help me achieve it. Something has surely changed today, as here is my idea made real and available for anyone to experience (ok, anyone who owns a smart phone)

“Discover augmented reality dance-video performances in 4 amazing locations around the City of Oxford, England.

Take to the streets using GPS in your mobile, the digital trail guides you to four specific spots in the University of Oxford Bodleian Library, Oxford Castle Unlocked, Bonn Square and Brasenose Lane. Dance artists, Aya Kobayashi, Rare Faction, Joe Lott and Sole Rebel Tap have recorded site specific performances that can only be seen by following the trail using the 4step app to reach the right location.”

4step on iTunes App Store
4step on Android Marketplace

GPS Filming

We started filming content for the 4Step app in Oxford this week. Funky tappers, Sole Rebel Tap used the site at Bonn Square in the heart of the City and Joe Lott performed within the walls of the Oxford Castle-Unlocked site.

In the final project, playback of these videos will be triggered when people visit the right spot on the digital dance trail using the app during the Dancin’ Oxford Festival in Feb-March 2012. The image here is a screengrab from the GPS app that I’ve been given to record the general location of the camera.

Although they’re all less than a minute in length, compressing the HD video down to a size suitable for use in a downloadable app is going to be a challenge.


Design Steps

We’ve been working on the interface design of the digital dance trail app for Dancin’ Oxford 2012 this week, now christened 4step. I love doing this sort of stuff where you can get right into every detail of the user interaction as well as designing a look and feel.

Luckily, we had a house guest staying over the weekend who is a copy writer, with experience of game development – so I had someone on hand who could understand the context for the game-like onscreen instructions about “unlocking achievements” etc. and give me some advice – Each of the four locations that the app will  navigate you to will earn you a FourSquare-esque badge, resulting in a bonus video download for visitors who get to all of the sites.

Oxford is a fantastic City to use for this project. We’ll have augmented reality sites set up at Oxford Castle, Bodleian Library, the medieval Brasenose Lane and Bonn Square in the heart of the City. The app experience will stay live after the Festival, so future visitors to the City will be able to unearth some digital archeology by digging up this layer of digital reality that we’re building now.

We’ve got most screens laid out as concepts now, ready for our developers to take things to the next stage of implementing them into a working app. Here’s the splash screen, which gives the general concept really  well.

We’re filming the first performances on location right after Christmas. One of the really cool things about being involved in this project is that Chris, our Tech Director has built me a custom app for recording the GPS locations on the exact spots we’ll be working in, I’m now my own mobile Sat Nav – maybe I should start practicing the voice and I could yet have a third career.