Mobile Cinema – Context-aware
Abstract Andreas Schrader
ISNM – International School of In this paper we describe a novel approach for New Media interactive cinema based on context-aware narration at the University of Lübeck using location detection technologies on handheld Willy-Brandt-Allee 31c computers. The paper describes both the artistic D-23552 Lübeck approach and the technical infrastructure developed to Germany realize a unique mobile cinema environment. The email@example.com described framework has been used in a video
production workshop at the ISNM, where five Darren V. Carlson interactive cinema concepts have been developed and ISNM – International School of shown during a public demonstration. A new type of New Media user experience has been established by placing the at the University of Lübeck viewer inside the movie’s physical locations during Willy-Brandt-Allee 31c playback. D-23552 Lübeck Germany
firstname.lastname@example.org ACM Classification Keywords
H.4.3 Communications Applications: Miscellaneous, Dominik Busch H.5.1 Multimedia Information Systems: interactive TV, V-Lab H5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., Manteuffelstr. 77 HCI): Miscellaneous. D-10999 Berlin
Germany Mobile Cinema - Concept email@example.com Mobile cinema, i.e. the user specific and context aware distribution of interactive content on mobile devices,
has great economic and artistic potential as well as
many interesting aesthetic, social and technical Copyright is held by the author/owner(s).
CHI 2006, April 22–27, 2006, Montreal, Canada. challenges [1, 2]. The lack of immersion is an ACM 1-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.important difference between traditional cinema and mobile media, and important for the design of mobile
content as users can view mobile content and still
perceive the world around them. The integration of underlying hardware. Moreover, these systems often do video on mobiles therefore has to be classified as not provide means for easily accommodating additional augmented reality in contrast to the virtual reality features or different physical environments. experience of the cinema. From this point of view,
mobile cinema is an extension of Weiser’s vision of To overcome these limitations an extensible ubiquitous Ubiquitous Computing  and Buxton’s vision of computing infrastructure named Aladin was developed Ubiquitous Media . Classical cinema content that is . Aladin addresses the needs of the mobile cinema intended to be shown on a large screen in a dark room with an open service model and flexible plug-in system is often times not appropriate for small screens. which enables feature extensions at runtime. In Aladin
we use a hybrid approach tailored for heterogeneous Mobile cinema offers new possibilities for enhancing environments; combining standard Web technologies social interactions in yet unknown dimensions, since with plug-in-based context detection and interpretation. viewers can interact with people and spaces while
sharing their mobile media experience. The challenge,
of course, is to perform the transition of conventional
broadcast schemes in TV and iTV scenarios to
personalized mobile iTV. Location-based services and
context-aware behavior also offer many forms of
interesting and new user interactions. One of the most
powerful is to use spatial navigation as an interface to
narrative structure and to combine spatial and media
Figure 1. Aladin start screen on a HP Pocket PC PDA. ALADIN – An Extensible Ubiquitous
To support the diverse requirements of mobile cinema, We realized several different location tracking plug-ins a software infrastructure was seen as necessary for for the Aladin framework, based on wireless local area providing both intelligent context interpretation as well network (WLAN), Infrared (IR), Bluetooth and radio as mobile media delivery. Existing context-aware frequency identification (RFID) in addition to a Web computing approaches are already capable of Services plug-in for server updates. All plug-ins can be responding intelligently to an individual’s change in used in parallel, enabling hierarchical location location, encounters with “smart” objects, focus of estimation. Specifically, infrared context detection was attention and more (,,). However, these supported through the construction of several approaches are often prohibitively complex and highly WorkSPACE IR beacons  which were placed dependant on restrictive service models and specific strategically throughout the environment.
Workshop Experiences interiors, which could be seen “through closed doors”. The Aladin framework was used in a “Digital Film and “Library’s Memories” is about misusage of the library Video Production” workshop held at the ISNM. The showing episodes with actors at location points workshop investigates and realizes new approaches of throughout the library. Finally, the “Confusion” group
digital film concepts, like mobile cinema, interactive presented logic puzzles which must be solved in order television, location-based narration, etc. to discover the location of the next beacon. Student Teams
The participants of the workshop were distributed into
five teams of two to three students each. Each group
was encouraged to create an innovative, non-linear
narration concept, where the sequence of film clips
shown depends on the physical location of the viewer.
Four separate physical locations were required for each Figure 2. Poster designs for the various film projects. team, plus a fifth location which was shared. In
addition, clips for the beginning and the end of the Public Demonstration experience were requested to assist viewer interaction. The mobile cinema concept has been demonstrated at a
public ISNM Open House, where visitors were invited to Narration and Style interact with the student film projects. Several large The completed mobile film projects have been diverse printed film posters provided an overview of the in their narration structures. The structures varied from available films and the teams placed their IR beacons completely random decisions for played clips to strategically throughout the campus, indicating where conventional linear concepts, where the viewer is film clips could be viewed. forced to proceed between locations in a predetermined
order. Three teams built non-linear narration concepts; Visitors to the cinema projects were provided a mobile allowing a viewer exploring the story in several ways. Aladin device and could freely move about the pre-
determined cinema space, triggering and viewing film The content and style of each team highlighted the clips based in their context. Brightly colored infrared variety of possibilities supported by our mobile cinema beacons helped visitors locate the various film projects. concept. The “Autophobia” group created a horror
movie based in the ISNM library where most of the Visitors often required more visual and auditory active location spots have been placed on objects in the feedback than was anticipated. In this way, one of the library, e.g., printer, telephone, etc. The “Connections” most useful features was the audible indication which group produced interviews with students with a focus sounded when a beacon had been discovered; assisting on experiences and thoughts regarding life on campus. visitors during times where context detection was slow The “Chill Pill” project team created film clips of room or the arrival of streaming content was delayed.
Currently we are extending the concept by developing
an interactive museum edutainment system using the
enhanced context-aware capabilities of Aladin.
 Shaw, J., Weibel, P. Future Cinema. MIT Press, 2003.
 Pengkai, P. Mobile Cinema. MIT Ph.D. Thesis, MIT Interactive Cinema Group, 2004. http://ic.media.mit.edu. Figure 3. A visitor at the ISNM Open House.  Weiser, M. Some Computer Science Problems in Ubiquitous Computing. Communications of the ACM, The five PDA-deployed Aladin devices remained 36(7):74--83, July 1993. responsive during the event. The Aladin Server was  Carlson, D.V. Aladin - An Extensible Ubiquitous able to provide continuous service while handling Computing Infrastructure. Master Thesis, ISNM sustained, simultaneous requests for context International School of New Media, Lübeck, Germany, interpretation. Streaming media performance was 2005. satisfactory overall, although some media degradation  Buxton, W. Living in Augmented Reality: Ubiquitous was observed during peak periods. Media and Reactive Environments. In K. Finn, A. Sellen & S. Wilber (Eds.). Video Mediated Communication. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, 1997, pp. 363-384. Conclusions  Dey, A.K., Abowd, G.D. CyberDesk: a framework We have explored new mobile cinema possibilities for providing self-integrating context-aware services. through the use of spatial navigation as an interface to Proceedings of the ACM 3media narratives. We have developed the requisite rd International Conference on technical infrastructure and integrated several film Intelligent User Interfaces. ACM Press, San Francisco, projects developed during an ISNM workshop. The California, USA, 1997, pp. 47-54.
results of this work have been presented publicly during  Garlan, D., Siewiorek, D., Smailagic, A., Steenkiste, an ISNM Open House Event. P. Project Aura: Towards Distraction-Free Pervasive Computing. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 1(2), April-June 2002, pp. 22-31. We observed that our novel approach of placing the
viewer physically within a film project’s context adds a  Schilit, B.N., Adams, N., Gold, R., Tso, M., Want, R. The PARCTAB Mobile Computing System. Proceedings level of immersion which makes the cinema experience of the IEEE Fourth Workshop on Workstation Operating surprisingly intense. The concept of spatial interaction Systems (WWOS-IV), IEEE, Napa, California, United turned out to be a powerful approach that has more States, 1993, pp. 34-39. possibilities than those implemented in the workshop.  Peter Ørbæk (2002). The WorkSPACE IR Beacon. http://www.daimi.au.dk/~poe/irbeacon/.