|NSCAD associate professor, Solomon Nagler (left) and Andrew Hicks (right) took home top prize at the Mobile HCI conference held in Toronto. (Photo by Eliot Wright)|
By Ainslie Ross
Associate Professor, Solomon Nagler, alumnus
Andrew Hicks (BFA ’10) and their team took home the top prize, the Design Competition
and Future Innovations Award, at the 16th International Conference on
Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices & Services.
The group was recognized for their app Narratives, a geo-locative
interactive cinema application for iOS and Android devices. The conference, also known
as Mobile HCI, took place in Toronto from September 23 – 26, 2014.
Competing against bigger schools with
bigger budgets from Japan, China, New Zealand, Germany and Toronto, the group
presented their project to a highly receptive audience and were
overwhelmed when they received top prize.
The app, as described in their research,
aims to “transform the cinematic experience by augmenting the natural
interactivity inherent in traditional cinematic form with locative media
practices that expand storytelling into traversable spaces.”
“The choices that you make to change or
generate narrative content, within a specific overall story, are chosen based
on your actions. Not so much just a point and click, like with a computer, but
what do you do within a day that’s going to define this narrative,” said researcher
Essentially Narratives will change the way both filmmakers and filmgoers engage
film because the story is determined by your geographic location which is
tracked throughout the day on your mobile device. You change your location, you change the
Funded primarily by grants from the Social Sciences
and Humanities Research Council of Canada and GRAND: Canada’s Digital Media
Research Network, Andrew and Solomon have spent roughly two years working on
“We took a small grant and stretched it
really far,” said Solomon. “We were
probably the least funded out of all the other groups.”
Proud of their accomplishments and still
reeling from the win both gentlemen were happy to boast about their work, “I
think this project really encapsulates what we’re doing at NSCAD, we’re really
punching above our weight,” said Solomon.
“We’re a smaller university with not nearly
as many resources for research as others universities,” he said.
Andrew and Solomon are eager to begin the
next stage of Narratives, which
includes further development and hopefully further funding in order to make the
app market ready.