Interactive Telephony for New Media Arts

Directed by Shawn Van Every
3 hours, $75. Two options are available:
Friday 6-Nov, 2pm-5pm OR Sunday 8-Nov, 9am-12.
Workshop location TBA.
It will help if you’ve done a little programming before.

You know… those systems that say, “Press 1 for Good, Press 2 for Evil, Press 3 to speak with an Operator”?
You can make those.

Enable people to interact with your projects by simply making or receiving a phone call! Turn any public display into a video game — by allowing visitors to use their mobile phones as game controllers! Make a custom answering machine which can record people’s keypad selections as well as their voice. Connect your physical computing projects into the phone network — or simply hook up your house plants, so they can give you a phone call when they need watering.

Using Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) and the open-source Asterisk PBX — in combination with a little bit of scripting (in Flash, Processing, and/or PHP) — we’ll learn how to enable the 6+ billion telephones on the planet to be an integral part of any interactive project with just a phone call.

Your Skill Level
This hands-on workshop is ideal for people with a little bit of programming experience (in ActionScript, Java, or Processing). We recommend at least a semester’s experience of programming in Processing (Java), ActionScript, or a similar language. You’re all set if you’ve had an introductory (100-level) programming course. Absolutely no knowledge of VoIP or telephony technology is required. A little PHP knowledge will also be helpful.

What You Should Bring
Bring a mobile phone (any model), to help test your work. University computers will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own laptop if you wish. Laptops should have an FTP client, a Terminal/Shell program, and a text editor.

More Information
New technologies, such as Voice-Over-IP and open-source telephony systems, such as Asterisk, have made it possible for anyone to create interactive applications that use voice communications. This hands-on workshop explores different ways of using the telephone in interactive art, performance, and multimedia applications. The open-source Asterisk system and a low-cost VoIP service will be used to develop applications that can work over both telephone networks and the internet. Topics include: Voice over IP (VoIP), interactive voice response systems (IVR), audio user interfaces, and interacting with Processing and/or Flash.

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Workshops at Mobile Art && Code