Culture: Art: Interactive
Antipodean Webcams   (+11)  [vote for, against]
See what's happening on the other side of the world and chat to someone there.

As an art project, set up a webcam and display in a urban public area (say a city square) and link it in real time to a webcam and display in a city on the other side of the world (or just any distant city). You could group these booths so that by wandering around the installation you can have a quick glance around the world.

I picture a single unit as being an enclosed weatherproof bubble containing two cameras and screens (one showing a high angle wide shot of the background, the other a face shot of someone standing close), a microphone and speaker. Multiple cities could by represented by installing a group of units in a circle with the cameras and screens facing outward like the petals on a child's drawing of a flower.
-- st3f, Jan 11 2004

(??) tholos project is interesting...
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Tholos Systems
Following up po's link. [st3f, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

moto hoho world ear
Audio version [Acme, Jul 10 2005]

Well, New York isn't antipodean, but something like this?
[st3f] - I fell an acknowledgement is in order. [AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 28 2008]

nice.. very nice.
-- neilp, Jan 11 2004

po, that tholos link is beautiful. I had the same aims in mind but was thinking much cheaper and simpler.
-- st3f, Jan 11 2004

I'm sitting here in the sweltering heat, wishing I lived in one of those glorious snowing places. Maybe watching some other environment would take my mind off it... or cooling my head in a bucket of ice.
-- Detly, Jan 11 2004

WOW.. It certainly would alter a lot of our "implanted" ideas about other cultures day to day type existence. Great tool for shrinking the world. Do you envision this to be controlled, as someone has to sign up for a specific time of use or just a generic fixture with first come first serve use?

I communicate regularly with a few friends in Europe (who were in US for school or jobs at one time) via email and phone plus our in person visits every few years, but this would be great fun for staying in touch ...
-- no12pass, Jan 13 2004

"Do you envision this to be controlled, as someone has to sign up for a specific time of use or just a generic fixture with first come first serve use?"

No, I saw it as an 'always on' connection that you just wandered past possibly stopping to chat with someone if you share a language. It's possible that exchange students may hog a terminal for hours chatting intimately with loved ones back home but that can't be helped.
-- st3f, Aug 04 2005

Its like a water fountain with one difference. Instead of water, there's streaming data from other parts of the world. REFRESHING! [+]
-- daseva, Aug 04 2005

How about a version with the viewing screens on the ground so that it is as if you were looking through the earth? Hmm?

Basically just people leaning over looking down from the other side of the world I guess.
-- zatoichi, Aug 04 2005

William Gibson had an idea much like this in one of his books, I can't remember which. The cameras and screens were set up outside of a corner store that was part of an international chain of stores. All the stores were linked together, so you could see and interact with people outside the same store in a different country.

Instead of a persisitent view, though, in Gibson's story the link your store had would change every minute or two to some other random location. That would reduce the chances of abuse by people who want free international long distance, as well as giving you a wide variety of cultures without forcing you to touch a button or anything.

[+] anyway for a cool idea.
-- junglefish, Aug 04 2005

a thumbs-up and hearty "well done" from all of us paraprofessionals here in Stratford on Avon!! Perhaps you could incorporate schools? Of course, there is that dread time zone element!!
-- r_kreher, May 28 2008

So its a webcam for... down under?
-- sprogga, May 28 2008

random, halfbakery