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Streaming Tweets Through the Streets: The Social City Detector

Social media is present everywhere we go. Yet there is still a thin digital divide between our real life and our online world. Sure, we browse the internet on our computers, tablets and mobile phones anywhere we like, but it’s still through some computing device that negotiates our electronic interactions. Companies like Google and Apple are making a push to create a new generation of wearable devices that fit more gracefully into our daily routine, like Google Glass and the iWatch, but are devices like these really the answer? Will we soon realize our visions (or perhaps terrors) of a Star Trek-like Cyborg existence that further closes the gap between our real-world and virtual world dimensions?

A few makers via the Creators Project have a different idea: to bridge the digital divide by streaming tweets live on the streets! “We decided to create something that merges the physical and digital layer in cities to make social media visible and personify it to become part of the physical layer in the city,” said Ruggero Castagnola, a creative technologist working on the project.

The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) in Denmark was commissioned by Intel to develop a platform that hopes to merge real and virtual spaces together via the new Intel Galileo microprocessor board (which Intel is running a giveaway for). The chip is carried around in backpacks and uses Wi-Fi signals to take incoming tweets relevant to a specific area and turn them into an audio output blasted out loud through speakers! Initially the urban area of the makers’ choice was Rome for testing their project. “Social media and cities are very much related and they can also be an engine for change,” Castagnola said.

Streaming Tweets through a Megaphone

intel galileo processor

What would you think of tweets streaming out loud through your city? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

   
 
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