Project Aesel: Re-Thinking Public Art

The Future of Public Art

As mobile devices connect us more and more on the go, and advance rapidly in capabilities, they become better and better tools to use for public art. The power of these devices goes far beyond making a simple 2-D image. With a bit of planning and foresight, we can build the tools needed to allow people to see a piece of digital art as easily as they can see graffiti on a building.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

We’ve all heard the talk around Augmented and Virtual Reality. It’s prevalence seems to be growing daily, with new hardware and software available all the time.

However, these devices and apps all seem bound by a very simple restriction: none are communicating with each other to share the same images. In certain cases, they are able to, but even there they are bound by certain assumptions: everyone using the same, pre-determined coordinate system, and/or forcing different back-end services for each application.

In the end, our dream is that we all inhabit a single world. This world is both physical and digital, and encompasses real life, and every piece of hardware and software available. No matter what “app” you happen to be using right now, that doesn’t change the fact that we all inhabit this same world, and I should be able to see what you’re working on just as if you had handed me a sheet of paper.

How is this Done?

To make this dream a reality, we’ll need several different tools all working together. First and foremost, we need Aesel. Aesel will drive the communication of all these different tools, ensuring that everyone can see the same object at the same time. When you reach out and interact with an object, I should be able to see it.

Second, we’ll need some sort of device to display all of these images. This device can range from a headset-based display to a mobile phone, but all of them will communicate through the same back-end system.

The Aesel Project makes all of this possible by providing the technical infrastructure necessary for creating this magical experience. Aesel communicates with all of the various devices, ensuring that each has the information it needs.

So it’s a Video Game Server?

Well, close. Aesel has many common components of video game servers, with a very key addition: we no longer assume that there is a single, unified coordinate system upon which all user devices can work. Instead, each individual devices has it’s own coordinate system.

Aesel stores these coordinate systems as ‘Scenes’. Each scene has a particular coordinate system, and information about objects in this scene are stored relative to this coordinate system. Each device also has it’s own coordinate system, relative to the scene system. Scenes are all relative to each other, and there is no absolute origin point for the coordinate system.

Want to Learn More

Be sure to check out the Project Page

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