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.