Hacks/Hackers Buzzfeed Lab


I'm the senior fellow at Buzzfeed @OpenLab, and welcome to California College of the Arts

Burt Herman:

We have more Hacks/Hackers connect coming up in Miami and Brussels

Christine Sunu:

Here's a stuffed animal, pass it around, don't lose it

Ainsley Sutherland:

I'm working on a project called Glance that is about desiging responsive environments in VR

Before the Oculus Rift was the Stereograph, invented in the 1800s - the Stereograph as educator

there is a popular narrative that movies displaced 3d images, but there is a parallel narrative where it survived

There were also cycloramas that toured as art works

but the panopticon is another model of spatial surveillance

what is key that you are looking at the system and the system is looking at you

even with a 3d panoramic video, the system is tracking your head movements and knows where you are looking

we had a 360 interview with satya nadella, so I tried replacing the space they were within

this is a demo where you navigate through a series of clips by tapping the space bar while watching

an extension of this would let me annotate and markup the video for collboration

I have a language learning demo where you hear a conversation then play both parts

there is a yellow cube that if it is in the frustrum, it will switch to the next clip

instead of using raycasting, using frustrum presence makes it easier to interact

part of this technique makes cutting more coherent as you can hold the cut until they're viewing the right spot

Ben Kreimer:

I have been using drones to 3d reconstruct archeaological sites that you can navigate

as well as viewing in the browser, we can make a 1st person view in Unity in a game environment

we also have 360 video with low cost drones and cameras - I used 2 gopros with aftermarket lenses

the Ricoh theta S is a lot cheaper, but you lose a lot of resolution; Jaunt uses specialised rigs

The Valley Fire Project used the dual gopro rig to cover the fire, and got t6 million views

the gopros are genlocked, and are automatically synced, so are easy to use

we ahve a field kit available for buzzfeed reporters to use for this

we also have a drone that can capture 360 video with no camera in the shot


I'm working on using games in journalism for things that are hard to describe in words

I have a fantasy football game based on influencing congress though money

you build a team based in special interests that do well in a particular congress, and if bills get support

I use data from Maplight at Berkeley to model different interest groups

framing it as a game helps people concentrate on the details of legislation

we have a game called @shit_vcs_say on an iphone now that challenges you to guess who said what

in the game, if you choose elmo it points out the bad premises of the tweets

we are arguably holding the VCs accountable for the strange things they say


The Saito Group suppsrts the cybernetic persona of Saito that broadcasts testimony to the city

right now we are investigating the economic power of the tech industry and how it is reshaping market street

we are creating a projected and geolocated form in the street that people interact with

we have software that lets you search for geolocated tweets for an area and help visualise it

we set up on the street and remix tweets into poems that show the inequality in the street

you have to deaden yourself when walking to work along market street, but this reopens the conversation

we have a process of writing facilitated by machines, but now they suggest poetic gestures to our writers

we create a display on the street to change a conversation

the installation is along market street at different times , I set up in different places on different nights

Christine Sunu:

I work on emotional storytelling with internet connected hardware, though I have a background in medicine

I am the GE IoT fellow at buzzfeed, so I work on the Internet of Things, but not appliances and vehicles

I am interested in connecting things to the internet that evoke emotions

things made of fabric and stuffing, or metal and stone still affect our emotions

what if we start with objects that already evoke emotions and augment them with technology

I have a series of stuffed animals called Buddy. this one has conductive yarn you can see when he is squeezed

I held buddy while I watched a scary movie, Perfume, and saw spikes where it was scary

given these inputs, how can we help people tell their emotional stories better?

what you can do is look at other sensors as well as the feedback one and see how you react to things

I would like to work with autistic children, but I would need someone to consult with me on this


we now have a call out for new fellows, deadline may 1st - come see us at http://www.buzzfeed.com/openlab

some fellows are working very closely with reporters, some are more disconnected - we're constantly brainstorming

mat honan:

a lot of ad hoc things happen too - Westley helped track things in Edgar for example

we want to have this collaboration and create new tools for media that other organisations can use

Ben Kreimer:

Ainsley and I work by shoot, stitch video and then work in Premiere, which lets you view it as a sphere

Ainsley Sutherland:

we have worked mostly with video and spatial VR with buzzfeed - the valley fire one is a good example

a lot of video is driven by audio and voiceovers that gives a direction

I want to create space that is malleable and changes as you act

Ben Kreimer:

what I want to do is let you walk around an environment and then jump to a 3d video at that point