The Eclectro Last.fm lovewall is an interactive installation that uses bluetooth to scan for mobile phones. Visitors are asked to change the bluetooth name of their phone into their Last.fm username.
A laptop scans the room using the open source Roomware software. It connects to random visitors and searches the Last.fm database for similarity. It then shows the similarity on a big screen by showing the profiles. A percentage and five artists both have in common.
The installation worked well and I got a lot of very positive feedback by enthusiastic visitors. A few things I learned.
- It is possible to have a zero percent match but still have artists in common.
- Similar artists are often Gorillaz, U2, Muse, Air.
- It is very easy to join, people see something happen and they think it’s too difficult to join. If you tell them that all it takes is changing the bluetooth name of their mobile phone they are really surprised.
- Explain, explain, explain.
- People like seeing their avatars on a screen. Only showing avatars would probably make a successful application by itself.
- Make the screen dark. I used grey photographs and still the brightness of the beamer lightened up the entire place.
- The internet connection at public places is almost always difficult (unstable/low signal).
The interface with testdata (working demo)
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And the photographs