Project duration: 2012 (4 weeks)

BBC Research

Design team:
Chris Natt, Luc Fusaro

2012 | Manchester Science Festival - Museum of Science and Industry

Trigger - Inclusive media environment that utilises a stream of kinaesthetic media content.

Trigger is the result of a 4 week exploration on behalf of the BBC of the question "Can assistive technologies for disabled viewers be delivered in a way that complements and enhances the viewing experience of others in a shared space?"

The Trigger concept explores bringing a layer of kinesthetic (tactile) stimuli into the home entertainment experience, in order to deepen the level of information fed to the viewer. Like audible and visual data, kinesthetic stimuli can switch between states quickly allowing for a range effect to be achieved through varying the speed, intensity and pattern of the stimuli.

Rough working prototypes were produced to explore the way in which kinesthetic data could be best delivered to the user. The final prototype delivered vibration and pressure to the upper arm, the resultant sensations being constantly modified by a remote control device. Further investigations identified key moments when kinesthetic stimuli could be applied to communicate data that would otherwise not be apparent to someone with a sensory impairment whilst enhancing the depth of information for all other users.

The addition of new stimuli will require additional data streams of data collected during filming, which could be achieved through small devices containing vibration sensors and accelerometers attached to the elements from which we want to record the movements/sensations eg the impact as one rugby player tackles another, the flapping of a birds wings as it takes flight, or the acceleration of a F1 car. Once this data is recorded "kinesthetic engineers" could modify/ creatively interoperate the data with the addition of pre-recorded effects to create the desired sensation.