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Well connected coffee?

November 26, 2010

Sandpit for ideas:

Cafe Foyer at University of Salford, MediaCityUK

The Egg: Cafe/Foyer at University of Salford, MediaCityUK

The foyer of our building at MediaCityUK is big. It’s double height and has a cafe which will serve hot drinks, tea, coffee (gotta be GOOD coffee, I’m fussy), paninis, sandwiches etc.

The floor is tiled and if you look under a tile it has 4o Gb/s bandwidth connectivity to a bunch of media servers and to the rest of the building. Oh and big bandwidth out to anywhere else if you want. There is multichannel audio to support WFS and ambisonics, connections for hi-res video, fibre… every kind of cable we know and an empty conduit for cable X we haven’t thought of yet. ┬áThere are 120 large hi-res video bricks, you can build them into a video wall, several walls, columns, cubes or pyramids of moving pictures like building up Lego bricks. It’s pretty flexible. There’s a gantry you can hang projectors and screens from, also microphones and cameras for motion tracking, proximity sensing – all in all, a whole bunch of stuff so that the technology can respond to people passing through, eating and drinking in the area.

If you’re in the cafe you can sit at one of ten or so multi-touch tables while you enjoy your coffee/tea/coke/whatever-your-drink-of-choice-is and interact with the ‘stuff’ going on in the space. Play with it, be creative. If you’re not at one of the multi-touch tables don’t worry, there’s an application layer for mobile devices so you can join in the fun with your phone.

The coffee’s not there yet but the foyer is and it’ll be open to the public in 11 months time (October 2011). One of my roles is to find some interesting, exciting, engaging and fun content to put in there that will start some interesting conversations, ideas and maybe partnerships and projects. There are some great ideas being put forward and I have a few myself but I’d be interested in hearing more.

So what would you do with a flexible, well connected, interactive, wifi’d, bluetoothed, motion tracked public cafe? What would you do with a well connected coffee?

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10 comments

  1. SWOON! I cannot wait to get started. I might just quit my job and live there.

    Shame there’s no parking ;)


  2. It’s fabulous, I moved in on Monday – ‘nother post on way with pics


  3. UPDATE: The Christie Microtiles were being installed today, it’s going to be very real very soon. Watch this space for pics and comment :)


  4. [...] Egg (mentioned in a previous post when it was all just an aspiration) now has it’s Christie Microtile wall installed and being tested. I’ve still training [...]


  5. [...] high resolution, and consists of 120 blocks that you can build up anywhere in the foyer like Lego. I wrote about this when all we had were CGI images and it looks better if Digital Performance [...]


  6. [...] big Christie tile wall in The Egg (mentioned in a previous post) is also attracting a bit of attention, at the moment we’re running basic (but hi-res) [...]


  7. [...] as an interactive visualisation using the Unity3D gaming engine, Kinect and the touch tables in The Egg at our MediaCityUK building. The visualisations the ETC team are coming up with are quite brilliant and we’ll be showing [...]


  8. [...] as an interactive visualisation using the Unity3D gaming engine, Kinect and the touch tables in The Egg at our MediaCityUK building. The visualisations the ETC team are coming up with are quite brilliant and we’ll be showing [...]


  9. […] places that could actually support what we were trying to do, the infrastructure of the building was actually designed for this kind of thing but we pushed it pretty hard this week. FascinatE partners worked through the nights and our […]


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