£150,000 collaborations explore the Internet of Things
Press release issued: 6 March 2014
Three new collaborations between University of Bristol academics and creative companies have been awarded £50,000 each as part of REACT Objects Sandbox, an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded initiative to explore the interactions and experiences we have with our physical and virtual worlds.
The three Bristol projects – Curpanion, InTouch and Reflector – will each develop a prototype of an internet-connected object over the next three months and explore its potential market model.
Curpanion is a collaboration between Dr Merle Patchett of the School of Geographical Sciences and Andrew Flack in the Department of History (Historical Studies) and the multi-disciplinary, technology and creation studio Play Nicely. It aims to explore the possibility of new museum experiences through internet-connected objects. The project will develop a personalized curatorial device that brings life to museum taxidermy and enables users to create their own online menagerie.
InTouch is a collaboration between Dr Victoria Bates in the Department of History (Historical Studies) and Dr Kirsten Cater in the Department of Computer Science and integrated product design and development experts Kinneir Dufort. It will look to create a physical story portal which will use cutting-edge technologies to link teller and listener through sound and touch.
Reflector is a collaboration between Professor Mark Horton and Professor Alex Bentley, both in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Design Week top 100 agency, Uniform. It will explore how connected devices might open up new ways to contemplate and share the stories embodied in a collection of rare archaeological objects associated with the transatlantic slave trade.
REACT Executive Producer Clare Reddington said: "The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, but a lot of the work in this area has been for the technology and services associated with it. We are interested in working with brilliant academics and creatives to explore how people will interact with connected objects – what will make them useful, magical or beautiful?
"It’s a brilliant opportunity to break free from the constraints of screen-based content and explore a new language of design that will allow us to consume and share stories in new and physical ways."