LAIT is developing a platform for development that can be used to create mobile apps for a broad variety of uses in live performance, both local and remote. Theatrical uses of mobile devices are usually not going to be limited to a single purpose, which is the orientation of most mobile apps. Rather, whether the app is to be used by audience members or by performers, or both, our experience is that it needs to be able to display and accept multiple data types quickly, with a minimum of menu interaction. It needs to be remotely controllable, and it needs to allow communication between performers and audience.
Our platform will let dancers, musicians, and all theatrical artists easily design and implement mobile apps for audience interaction that can be deployed relatively quickly, without the need to hire a lot of expensive custom programmers and designers. It consists of three basic parts:
- Content – Creator and Server
- This is where producers would create content for a performance—text, graphics, sound, etc.—and then make it ready for download into a mobile device for playback during performance.
- Directory Server and Event Server
- The Directory Server will keep track of which mobile devices are at what performances, and direct them to the correct content for download.
- The Event Server will keep track of which events (such as a concert or play) are using our app, and will activate the appropriate content during the performance.
- Client – Display and Input
- This is the software on the mobile device itself that both downloads and displays content, and takes user input for interaction with the Event Server.
We are building this app primarily on the Unity game engine platform, but are extending it using other technologies, as well. This will allow the app to respond nearly instantly on cue in the theater (which is nearly impossible with a web-based app), and allow us to take in audience interaction, and make decisions based upon this input.
These are all under development now…as we progress, updates will be available on this site. If you are interested in our application, please drop us a line!
For a detailed explanation of LAIT, read this article published in the Proceedings of the 2015 21st International Symposium in Electronic Art (ISEA2015).