I first learned about HP's Mscapers software while at Futurelab where it was used for the previously mentioned Savannah project, amongst other things. Fast-foward 3 years later, and I came into contact with it again.
This time, it was thanks to Katz Kiely of b.tween, who invited me to participate in an Exploding Narrative panel sponsored by HPLabs and the Arts Council of England to look at how the mediascape software could be pushed forward even further.
The software has been continuously improving and growing in popularity with a wide ranging fanbase of practioners, academics and artists keen to help HP with its evolution. Deciding that crowdsourcing was definitely the way forward, a public call for ideas was held using a 'live commissioning' model.
I, and indeed the whole audience at the ICA, gave feedback to the short listed 5, who then refined their pitches which were made at b.tween 08 in Manchester in June. Although all had their strengths, the winning entry was Ben Dalton's 'Our Music, Our City', which will enable people to access a local musical soundscape as they traverse their city, in this case, Leeds. Although piloted there, it most certainly has potential for roll-out throughout the UK and beyond.
Those familiar with mediascapes will know that they are an emerging media platform with the potential to enrich a physical journey or experience with myriad digital content.