I hit the ground running here in Columbia, Missouri last week. It’s always the way with a finite fellowship: even before my first day I felt like a sprinter on the starting blocks. So far so good though. I’ve mind mapped a rough layout for how I see Empathetic Media developing over the next month, as well as a few wire framed mockups of the proof of concept that I’m putting together in time for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Chicago at the end of September. There are two distinct tracks to Empathetic Media’s ongoing development at the moment: content and infrastructure.
For the latter, the next step is to assemble a team of Computer Science students and part-time developers to flesh out the idea with an emulator so we can test what stories look like as we port different parts of them into different devices. To that end, I’ve met with Dr Shyu at the Computer Science department, who is working on eye tracking with his team, which of course is hugely relevant for graphic journalism. I’m running an informal study next week with a pool of student guinea pigs, and if that goes well, then we’ll apply for a formal IRB and broaden the investigation.
As for content, this is something of a digital hydra: I have 360 panoramic video that I shot in Nepal to edit; an animated interview that I’ve storyboarded and producing the assets for, which will then get sent to my remote team of animators around the state (all alums of the best animations schools here); an interactive ebook featuring audio/video/comics I produced in Nepal; a data vizualization; and, last but not least, a small immersive 3D environment that I’m conceptualizing in Unity.
I’m also using this opportunity to jump into 3D world building, and my cintiq companion is currently humming along as it downloads Autodesk’s 3Ds Max. Hopefully that and some of the tutorials on digitaltutors/Lynda.com will be enough to get me started.
Any questions or comments on the above, let me know!