Hellicar & Lewis Create A Real Time Twitter Hub For #TED2012
All the TED devotees are flocking to Long Beach, California this week for the idea-sharing platform’s TED2012 conference. And with ideas from some of the world’s greatest thinkers floating around in the air, it was only logical that someone should create a conversation-collating installation.
Called Dewar’s Hub, this interactive wall of tweets comes from Creators Hellicar & Lewis and a team including
Marek Bereza, Diederick Huijbers, and James George of Antagonistic Applications fame. The project was
created with Hellicar & Lewis’s production company Nexus Interactive Arts and for digital agency VML London.
The piece captures, distills, and visualizes interactions of real-time conversations culled from this meeting of the minds, turning the chattering into a constellation of various topic categories. Anyone can tweet @dewarshub with various hashtags—like #innovation, #medicine, #magic, #philosophy, #whatever—which are added to the hub. The conversation relating to these terms will flow around on the screen, creating an interactive pool of information.
But this is no simple Twitter stream—it’s a visualization designed to impress TED’s distinguished attendees. And how do you design a Twitter stream that’ll wow the likes of Bill Gates? By using a gesture-controlled interface, of course.
A plinth positioned in front of the screens turns all that Twitter data into an interactive well that visitors can “reach into” via the plinth and “scoop up” tweets, bringing up different conversations that are going on around a particular hashtag. The plinth is a custom made sculpture using Kinect tracking and an audio system. It enables moving laterally and vertically through the Twitter data and exploring conversation topics with a single hand.
See the installation in action below: