Cityscope: A new possibility to meet people (Urban Interaction Object)
Cityscope is one of two urban design concepts made for the Deutsche Telekom shown at Kontakthof, an exhibition and conference centre at the Telekom Innovation Arena, in Berlin. Its purpose is to connect people from all over the world. With Cityscope people look through a virtual window, explore new cities and get to know new people during short interactions. Those interactions are feasible via a touchscreen, on which users can write or simply draw pictures. Furthermore, they can show their environment through a built-in webcam to let other participants explore their surroundings and to see each other face-to-face. Cityscope enables to build awareness and the interest in different cultures. It is possible to cross borders and long distances within seconds.
Cityscope is an interactive object placed in public places. It permits people to connect with each other, to reach different countries, and to experience different cultures all over the world. We have used this concept to create a more natural interaction with a touchscreen. The touchscreen appears as a fogged window between two different worlds and thus the view is blurred in the beginning of each interaction. As soon as somebody wipes the window, the view gets clear and bright. From this moment on two Cityscopes are connected, and the interaction begins. The communication can be diverse: One's experience can be a small chat, an interesting impression of the city or just a quick drawing and a smile.
In a future where virtual realities are predicted to control and in which screens and IoT applications are supposed to be everywhere, we wanted to create an object using new technologies which stay in the background and not to distract the user from the actual interaction. The touchscreen which is a metaphor for a window using the physical and natural interaction of wiping, to let humans communicate with each other. That interaction becomes necessary if a glass is fogged, due to a temperature difference. Under normal circumstances, people would wipe it to see clearly or write small messages or draw images into it. We used this »habit« to create a natural interaction between the object and the user which creates an exploring experience. Furthermore, the Cityscope can be used like a compass. In the moment, the user has to choose between different cities the Cityscope can be turned physically, similar to a steering wheel of a boat.
All devices we interact with are very complex and contain a wide range of possibilities and features. We want to focus on the cultural exchange, that's why functionalities stripped down to essential features only. It is our goal to create objects for the future, which work with an analogue approach, but a digital soul.