Friday, May 29, 2009

The set-up of a mixed-reality event

So, I've been a bad blogger an not posted in a month. Tut tut. It's not to say I haven't been doing anything interesting!

Check out the photo above. This is the set-up of a live stream that I conducted in Second Life. Well, as this picture is taken at home, it not a live 'live stream' but a 'repeat' live stream. Let me explain...

On May 12 I was at the CPA Week conference in Perth where I had a similar set-up at the back of a hall where a keynote presentation was taking place. Two Macs; one video camera, audio hook-up to sound desk; internet connection. Away we went!

Computer one. Audio link from presenter's lapel mic into DV camera. DV camera on tripod hooked up to computer with firewire cable. Live video feed into Quicktime Broadcaster. Feed sent to Quicktime streaming host, Netromedia.

Computer two. Second Life running with live feed into media texture on stage screen. Mac linked to plasma screen on stage.

The result?

A keynote presentation, once only available to those in the room, was now beamed into a theatre Second Life where CPA Australia members from all across the globe could log in and view the live presentation. The outcome of having the stream beamed back into the real life theatre was that those in the real life could see how other members were engaging in the presentation AND the members in SL, wherever they were, could pose questions to the presenter during question time in real-time.

It kinda does the head in trying to comprehend the whole mixed-reality phenomena, as trying to explain even after I have done it hard enough.

Now back to the 'not-quite-live' aspect of the photo above. As well as stream the event live I recorded the video feed to mini-DV tape and the set-up above was me re-playing the video for members that could not attend the live event. By playing the tape through the DV camera I could utilise the live-stream functionality of Broadcaster and Netromedia to replicate the live-feed at a more convenient time for other members.

The only question I have remaining is, is it possible to to the video feed 'out' and the Second Life stream 'in' on the one computer? I guess it's a question of grunt.

Seeing it live is perhaps the only way to truly grasp the potential for events in the future. The blending of realities is a fascinating future and one that has many possibilities.