Mashing up the first Eclectro party, bluetooth, meeting new people and your Last.fm profile

concept eclectro bluetooth kit

This saturday we have the first Eclectro party in De Unie in Rotterdam (which itself is pretty amazing). It’s the first offline event for something (a group of people blogging) that until saturday does only exist online.

To Eclectrofy this evening we started thinking about doing something extra with the location. How can we make the place visually and interactive exciting as well. Without making it too difficult to use or showing computers.

This reminded me about the Roomware project

The Roomware Project is an open-source framework for interactive spaces. It allows developers of multiple origins to enhance any venue or event using technologies such as BlueTooth and RFID.

What I’m making for this saturday
Basically Roomware turns my Mac into a server that is able to read bluetooth names and convert this data into xml. We will ask people at the party to change the bluetooth name of their mobile phone into the username of their Last.fm account. With these Last.fm names an application searches the Last.fm API and extracts data about two random visitors and tell them how much Last.fm similarity they have and which artists they have in common.

Meet new people
The project autorepeats and makes new random matches with names of people that are actually in the room. The results are projected on a screen. Showing public information about people is a gimmick, but it might encourage visitors to meet new people.

Things to do before this saturday

All the technology works. What’s left is finding a beamer, finishing the design and the timing of the interface. The application doesn’t need much time to load, but I’m thinking about adding finctional timing to make it more exiting to watch.

For example first show one player. Show the second player a few seconds later. And finally show the bar (hearth) that indicates the percentages. And maybe add some hidden messages when people have 0 or 100% Last.fm similarity.

Eclectro presents Kettel (live)
The third man (live), Gastón Arévalo (live) & Starborough (dj-set)
November 15th, De Unie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Entrance € 8,- (order tickets)

De Unie

I will make a video of the system in action for hypernarrative. You can also visit the party this saturday to play with it youself. We can have a beer :)

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27 thoughts on “Mashing up the first Eclectro party, bluetooth, meeting new people and your Last.fm profile

  1. Genius! I’m very curious about the outcome this saturday ;) I’ve already changed my bluetooth-name. Oh and by the way: Eclectrofy maybe is a good term for the offline eclectro events? See you on saturday!

  2. Hi Wilbert,
    That sounds like an awesome setup you are creating. Please feel free to post about your application on the Roomware mailing list as well, were always interested to hear about new applications.

    I will try to make it to that party and maybe other roomware peeps will do so as well. Good luck!

    Tijs (roomware co-founder)

  3. 2 questions:
    Any thoughts on what we’ll do with users who don’t have a last.fm name? Give them a dummy account?

    What about users without bluetooth? Ask for their last.fm name and automatically vary the bluetooth name of my laptop (via some app) to reflect all these names?

  4. Thanks for the comments

    @Tijs, glad you like it. Roomware is great. I’m not a very technical guy and it only took me about two hours to figure it all out (enabling php on my laptop, running the server, finding the xml and loading the data into Flash). I will mail the Roomware group. Maybe see you this saturday.

    @Inge, I’m not sure yet about the dummy accounts. The beauty about bluetooth is that people actually have to be in the room to join it (if you’re in the bathroom, you’re out). I’ll look at the options to see how easy I can add something like this.

  5. @ Tijs: interesting. Wilbert, is that something we want? I understand that immediacy is a nice aspect, but a large pool of users is also vital for its success.

  6. Hmm yeah that may have been an unlucky term on my part. By terminal i meant a simple interface on a pc or mac somewhere in the location. You would still have to build this interface though. Could be a flash app or html whatever suits you best. Still with only a few more days until saturday that might be a bit too much work.

    We also found that quite a lot of people know how to enable BT and have it on especially in a young crowd. Plus it doesn’t matter if not everybody can play since people will start showing it off to each other which is a fun interaction in itself :)

  7. @Tijs, I think I pass on the extra user interface ;) I still need to finish the design.

    @Erik a map would be wonderful, I don’t know how to store this data before this event takes place. Tracing the users who have most in common with everyone would be interesting information.

    Something for a version 2.0 :)

  8. Hope you’re storing the hardware device address too, so the visitors can rename their (mobile) device to whatever they like again afterwards. Think for the next time(s)!

  9. For this event I’m not storing any data. Visitors can rename the devices anytime they want. If their (device) name doesn’t exist on Last.fm they will not appear on the wall.

    It could be interesting to store data if you want to do something with returning visitors. This could be an interesting concept for a club. If a device returns you get something extra. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Think it’s great that you’re starting this! Think clubs instead of club and even beyond 1 account (last.fm)- it’s like broadcasting your collection of online profiles where ever you go. Pity we haven’t met (yet) (in Amsterdam/based on….;)).

  11. This would probably suit better to an (iPhone/Symbian) application that uses your social network information to match to people around you (through bluetooth or GPS). This could work everywhere.

  12. Eventually each club should scan for last.fm accounts (or something similar) of course! Roomware everywhere baby! :) We did talk to some people about doing just that but it hasn’t materialized yet… go for it i say.

  13. @Wilbert – You’re right – I got carried away :) My focus is to approach these ideas more to create autonomous places. Not only to be defined by usage or preferences of ppl but also by create their own digital body/identity (and own devices, such as a bluetooth scanner).

  14. @Tijs :) Clubs should put RFID tags in the plastic numbers you get when hanging your coat. People wear these RFID tags on their body all night long, and give it back when they leave. This creates new opportunities to measure the flow of people inside spaces.

    @Auke, the concept of smart spaces is a very interesting one. A space could represent the people who visited it and how long or how much they visited it and with who.

    This would give an indication how interesting the space actually is, instead of what label it has “great cafe”. It would also create hot zones or natural urban gravity points where people tend to hang out.

  15. I think this idea could serve clubs also well. if a Last.fm-chart is generated with the information of the visitors and their taste, clubs could adjust their music to better suit their visitors.

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