Tech Project

[ARSmartist] Live-Performances with AR Smartglasses: Creative tools and smart design
Augmented realitySmartglassesTheatre
Open Call
In Residency
Residency Outcome
Augmented Reality Smartglasses for surtitles in theatres: Improving user’s experience.
From March 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2019
  •   © Panthea
    Credits: © Panthea

Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project

The project is closely linked to the planned upgrade and extensions of our software. The main challenge of the next step will be to improve significantly the users’ experience, with a smart interface allowing to make individual adjustments (brightness, colour, size …). Besides we want to explore the integration of localization tools and triggering beacons allowing to connect the displayed text with the speaker, like a philactery does in a comic. A further challenge is to make use of other features like streaming images and videos: this is particularly relevant for hearing-impaired people, who thus may benefit from the adjunction of images (symbols for sound elements) or even translation into sign language.

Brief description of technology

Our software is a collaborative cloud-based solution that can be used on any platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOs, Android …). It allows to display an unlimited number of languages on various devices at the same time (AR glasses but also LED screens, tablets, smartphones and video projectors). Videos and soundtracks can be embedded at the source (emission) using direct time-codes, but not yet in the displays (reception). However the smartglasses we use perfectly support image, sound and video-streaming: The Moverio BT350 by Epson are bright Si-OLED-powered, binocular see-through smart glasses. Their 720p HD display with high brightness ensures a crisp image and vivid colours. Built-in connectivity and sensors include Bluetooth Smart, Wi-Fi, Miracast and motion sensors. The smart glasses can also deliver 3D content. Intel® Atom™ x5 1.44GHz quad-core CPU and 2GB RAM ensures smooth performance.

What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable

Our goal is to offer an artist the possibility to experiment the use of smartglasses within a theatre context, including but not limited to text. Try-outs with sound, images and video are also welcome. These new devices open lots of possibilities to send the audience simultaneously various kinds of information, even individually, and thus to create a fully new interaction and relation. We believe that having an artist at our side will definitely help us to get creative input, allowing us to improve our tools (design, interface) but also to explore some of the thrilling opportunities generated by the integration of new features, like localization, streaming, etc. Innovation is a keyword for us. We’re looking for artists with a theatrical background and fond of multimedia experiences, with a proven knowledge in programming, ideally also with an affinity to design.

Resources available to the artist

We offer full access to our office space in Berlin, including high-speed internet and dedicated data-storage. There’s also a convivial 120sqm room that can punctually be used for rehearsals, larger scale tests or MeetUp gatherings. We provide access to the tools of our current software solution and to our various hardware devices, among others 30 Moverio smartglasses + a few other models, or high definition LED screens. Moreover the team of Panthea, including its CTO and Head of development as well as its project manager will stand at the side of the artist for about 2 days/ month and will share the know-how acquired by using smartglasses during several pilot projects before.