Collaboration and deliberation around city planning is challenging. CITIVIS is a multiplayer media XR experiment blending local GIS & maps, video and civic engagement to address dire current events.

What it does

Using the Watson AI speech to text and tone analysis functions, we follow players through a short interactive story where their thoughts, words and ideas are fed back as content for city planners and local agencies.

Zoom into downtown Los Angeles and watch 3 short 360 videos about various people and places addressing local displacement: LA Housing Services Authority, the story of Lisa and the Refresh Center, a new hygiene and health zone near Skid Row.

How we built it

Unity IBM Watson ESRI, CityEngine & ArcGIS 360 Video Production: Ricoh Theta, Essential 360 Cameraphone and Adobe Creative Suite Sound Production: ProTools Production on set in DTLA and on site with Local agencies: Los Angeles Housing Services Authority and Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

Challenges we ran into

Watson SDK for Unity is a new toolkit with less documentation so we stayed in close touch with the IBM team for development on Tone Analyzer and visualization. We could use another day to focus on the vis side of this project to turn the data into actionable and beautiful information for city planners.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our stories, especially Lisa's interview is powerful and challenging for audiences who rarely take time to talk to local homeless people. Building the city of LA quickly and beautifully for this story and giving players a mix of perspectives from a wide range of people who are actively engaged. Our team contributed well together as a mix of professionals from a wide mix of media/tech disciplines.

What we learned

Turning the Watson analysis into useful, beautiful and actionable information to deliver to cities in a dashboard or WebXR format will take some work, especially as local GIS data is not always open to the public for collaborative development. The civic engagement and decision-making side of this experience may be adapted to gaze-based consensus building in future builds, depending on the city needs and issues to address.

What's next for CityVis

Our goal is to focus on civic engagement in future gamestories as well as spinning off media microservices including AI & XR integrations for broadcast, live series, team and group collaborative endeavors and education. Two of our developers are considering pursuing the engineering work around these integrations full-time this year while our content producers are engaged in using these tools for improving live and recorded immersive events, game shows and productions.

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posted an update

CITIVIS is a 5 minute CIVIC ENGAGEMENT MULTIPLAYER TEST for XR play with teams or collaborative endeavors where decision-making and deliberation can be achieved quickly to decide on public actions.

Our test case for this story addresses homelessness in LA with current budgets under consideration for the coming year + a new tax (passing of Measure H) that will open up new tax revenue to improve housing and wrap-around services. There is some debate within the city on how these funds should be allocated and we are seeking public input using voice, video and gaze interaction in this experience.

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posted an update

GOAL: Show analysis with groups around video content to make better decisions in cities OMNICHANNEL CONCEPT in UNITY + Case Studio published to WebXR & GIT

PROOF OF CONCEPT: You land in the city of Los Angeles to address questions around displacement and homelessness. Three scenes take you through stakeholder issues to be addressed before homeless agency expenditures & budgets can be finalized for next year.

On landing in scene the viewer sees map pins that open to play videos on gaze. Videos are 30 seconds - 2 minutes in length and address context in voiceover with research on the local situation.

3 videos set up the story - LAHSA context story #1 - stakeholder/stats Lisa’s Story #2 - personal needs Refresh #3 - Hygiene Stations & Measure H

STACK: Unity Multiplayer + Watson SDK > Tone Analyzer + Speech to Text WebXR ArcGIS & CityEngine 360 Video produced on the Ricoh Theta S and the Essential 360 camera phone Basic Voting/decision Interactions GitHub + Tweet + # for name

HARDWARE TESTS: Hololens HTC Vive Acer Headset Microsoft Surface (best use for creative suite/video editing) HP Backpack and Headset Cameras: Ricoh Theta, Essential 360 Cameraphone

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