Locative media are devices and systems that enable communication by physical implementation in a particular location. The contents of locative media are however not restricted to a specific location. Social interactions are greatly facilitated by the different types of digital locative media available.
Different kinds of environments are enhanced by the detailed explanations and analysis done by the location based media. The interaction between technology and various places is facilitated by the location based media. Locative media projects enhance the use of technology in locating physical places.
Locative media is emerging to be one of the most popular digital technologies in the contemporary world (Eckardt 34). The locative media do not necessarily need to be location oriented but the content has to be bound to a particular location. This paper will extensively discuss the role of urban screens in promoting urban interactions.
Urban screens are digital interfaces for passing information to the urban society. The digital displays include projection boards, plasma screens and LED signs. The screens facilitate the creation of a public space which is a viable platform for economic growth and cultural exchanges (Barber 34).
The digital nature of the screens makes them perfect platforms for virtual interactions. The urban screens movement has been growing at a very first rate in recent times and many cities across the world are investing in the initiative.
The urban screens initiative has quite a number of long term objectives that have the potential of transforming the public space to fit in the current digital era (Gauthier 67).
The experimental visualization zones are some of the fundamental elements of the urban screens initiatives. Outdoor screens have a great potential in transforming the way of life in urban centers both socially and economically.
The urban screens movement aims at providing digital screens for commercial and social purposes. This initiative presents a public space full of cultural content because of the suitable opportunity the screens provides for artists to exhibit there products.
The other objective of urban screens is to establish a link between public space and architecture using the digital technology. The urban screens are supposed to provide a balance between modern innovations and culture. The public screens necessitate the revival of traditional art back to the public space through visual media.
The urban screens provide interactive opportunities for the citizens to actively participate in screen projects (Gauthier 123). Urban screens promote communication among different stakeholders like urban architects, artists, the government and culture custodians.
Urban screens are very useful in networking and exchange of content. Urban screen influence the interaction between people and their surrounding through technology (Gauthier 123).
The urban space provides a good platform for social interactions and enables the public to easily share encounters in different aspects of life. The digital screen provides a perfect interface for people to relate with their environment in a very non-traditional manner.
The urban screens act as a facilitator of all the interactions and socializing in the city. The users have an opportunity to even play active games with the digital interface (Webb 26). The social interactions are promoted by the spatial mechanisms provided by the public. The public arena provides a stage for breaking social and cultural boundaries.
The digital platform and the people form a combination of social, spatial and digital systems that forms the basis for designing interactions.
The space created by digital media and the urban space are integrated by the public arena. The individual aspects of a place should be considered in forming a platform for sharing social, cultural and economic encounters (Webb 26).
There is a strong relationship between spacial and syntactical properties of a place and the encounters to be shared. Different locations differ in terms of visibility, accessibility and the rate of pedestrian flow. The physical aspects of a place have a great influence on the general movement of people and social encounters.
The public social installations promote awareness on various issues and at the same time establish rich relationships (Webb 37). Installing public screens in different locations with different social orientations can lead to diversity in terms of behavior. The urban screens project incorporates technological artifacts in the public context.
Ubiquitous computing method is widely used in facilitating the urban screens project. Social places like restaurants provide a platform for social interaction. This is a perfect analogy of how the urban screens work (Webb 37). The digital layer connects with the urban environment to try and avoid the pervasive technologies present in urban areas.
Ubiquitous computing systems play a very crucial role in establishing space structures and social behavior in urban areas. The designers of digital media such as digital urban screens use the existing knowledge and new technological innovations to create an interface that facilitates sharing of encounters.
Urban screens provide a platform for interactive play that provides the people staying in urban centers with a variety of interesting outdoor experiences (Barber 142). The initiative has a special feature known as the boundary function which facilitates informal interaction by enabling people to talk to the people standing next to them within the public space.
The technology of urban screens can enable users with camera phones to access some vital information about their area. This is normally facilitated by placing a bar-coded signage in some urban locations. This form of digital media presents the user with the relevant content about their location (Barber 145).
The goal of the games developed in the urban space is to give those living in cities a wonderful experience. Designers are constantly looking for new ways of improving interactions and sharing of information using the digital media. These new experiences help a great deal in understanding the social behavior in the city.
The urban screens are used to augment the basic physical and social behaviors in the city. The digital media can now be activated using body gestures and movements instead of the commonly used portable devices (Barber 145).The user shadow is used as a body-input interaction which integrates the technological interface with the urban space.
By using the gestures, the users can playfully navigate the digital media as they learn more about the events taking place in their location. This appears like an engaging installation where the users can manipulate the media to get the information they want about current events (Gauthier 123).
The designers can design persuasive media in an attempt to formulate new physical and social behavior. Persuasive systems in urban screens can alter the social environment and completely change the way of socializing in the city.
The digital technology used in the urban screens project is supposed to revolutionalize social interactions in urban centers and possibly facilitate the creation of new social patterns. Social practices in a particular urban space are easily understood using the urban screens initiative.
Different approaches are used when designing new digital technologies to be applied in the urban screens project (Gauthier 140). There are some challenges in implementing the urban screens project. These challenges and limitations have to be understood in advance for the designers to be in a better position of dealing with them.
Installing urban screens in a particular location or city is a very elaborate process and all the steps must be followed for effective installation and application. The designer should first of all try to understand the urban space of the city. This is normally done using the space syntax method.
The method views cities as systems of space and the analysis of the city design and architecture forms the basis of understanding the urban space of a city. The movement of people within the city defines the accessibility of all the spaces in the city (Gauthier 167).
The space syntax method bases it analysis on topological distance between different spaces and does not consider the metric distance. Space syntax method considers space as a very basic aspect of all human activities. All human activities are done in space which makes space to be a very fundamental variable in trying to understand a city before the installation of urban screens.
Visual fields and human interactions describe the experience of space. Human behavior can be defined according to the manner in which they use space. The geometric language is used to describe the relationship between space and human behavior (Webb 172).
The space syntax method is normally applied by designers who need to understand the urban space configuration. There is a correlation between the number of people in an urban place and the spatial analysis done using the syntax method.
The space syntax methodology tries to find out the reasons for absence and presence of people in the city streets and investigates the spatial structure of the city. The spatial configuration of the city has a major influence on how the people flow within the city. The movement of people within the city is determined by the use of the urban grid (Webb 172).
People preferences and behavior in cities can easily be determined using qualitative observation methods. The relationship between the spatial design and behavior is established by the quantitative analysis of the spatial morphology of the city.
The syntax method helps the designers to determine the possible impact of urban screens on human behavior and shared experiences. In the space syntax methodology, the city map is used to design a graph representing the spatial orientation of the city (Barber 156).
The graph is the analyzed according to the links and nodes representing the flow of people in the city. The next step is the definition of the area by using the quantitative spatial analysis method. The degree of social interactions and behavior is determined by analyzing the data collected about human behavior in the city (Barber 156).
Empirical studies are done by selecting the strategic areas within the city. After comprehensively experimenting the three locations, digital screens are then implemented to encourage strangers, observers and friends to playfully use technology in sharing different experiences about life.
By experimenting, the designers are in a better position to fully understand the role of social and digital interactions in improving the various aspects of the city. Through the experiments, the designers are also able to establish the affordability of the urban screens project.
The introduction of a digital platform in an urban center requires a critical analysis of the design and the available digital media for installing the project (Webb 141). The interconnection between the digital layer and the spatial design of the city plays a major role in determining how effective the digital platforms will be.
The integration of the urban screens within the built in environment relies heavily on the space concept. The components of space include the physical location, values and the social protocol (Webb 150).
The final stage in implementing the urban screens project is the actual implementation of the prototype. The urban screens can be implemented as portable digital screens in different locations within the city. The digital screens can also be augmented as interactive installations.
The digital screens are made up of LED Layers and pressure pad layers with the LED layer being the first. The role of the layers is to receive and send user inputs to the computation system made of special programs. The layers are also involved in processing outputs (Barber 157).
The screens are characterized by blinking lights that give the screens an urban outlook. The blinking lights are dynamically generated in patterns. The patterns are arranged according to the movement of pedestrians. The pattern of moving people is detected by the pressure pads.
In conclusion, urban screen have greatly transformed social interactions and enhanced information sharing in cities. Urban screens are used as digital platforms for social interactions and culture exhibition.
Apart from enhancing social interactions in cities, urban screens are also greatly used to inform the people about different events within the city. Digital media plays a very fundamental role in stimulating social interactions. The urban space defines the behavior of people within the city.
Barber, Stephen. Projected Cities. New York: Reaktion Books, 2002. Print.
Eckardt, Frank. Mediocity: Situation, Practice and Encounters. New York: Frank & Timme, 2008. Print.
Gauthier, Jean-Mac. Building Interactive Worlds in 3D: Virtual Sets and pre-visualization of Games, Film and Web. New York: Focal Press, 2005. Print.
Webb, Andrew. Cities in Transition: The Moving Image and the Modern Metropolis. New York: Wallflower Press, 2008. Print.