[live web week 10] final project idea: kitchencam

kitchencam-mockup

For my final project, I’m interested in creating something that will allow for random people on the internet to control one particular thing in real life. Before I talk specifically about my project idea, I’ll talk a bit about my references.

REFERENCES

The Telegarden

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The Telegarden is an art installation that allows web users to view and interact with a remote garden filled with living plants. Members can plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender movements of an industrial robot arm.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

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Twitch Plays Pokemon was an experiment that allowed for internet users to collaboratively play a game of Pokemon Red by controlling what happened in the game via chat.

Jennicam

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Jennifer Ringley was one of the first “lifecasters,” using a webcam to take a photo of her bedroom every 15 minutes for years. It was a way for anyone on the internet to see what was happening in one person’s daily life.

MY PROJECT

What I want to do is set up a webcam in my kitchen. I’ll build a webpage, where anyone can go and see what’s currently happening in my kitchen, but they will have to click a button that takes a picture first.

I think this is an interesting idea because it’s a little different from typical “lifecasting” or livestreaming. It’s easy to be voyeuristic on the internet, just by stumbling across anyone’s personal livestream. But because the user has to click a button to capture a photo and see what’s happening, the user is a little more complicit in the voyeurism.

Personally, I’m not interested in being particularly exhibitionistic (in the bedroom style of Jennicam), but I figured getting to look into someone’s kitchen at any point in the day feels somewhat intimate. You can learn a lot by seeing what someone does in the kitchen – seeing how they make their coffee, whether they’re cooking or microwaving leftover takeout, why they’re eating cereal at midnight or drinking at noon.

TECH

I’m not 100% sure how I’ll build this out, but I imagine I’ll use a Raspberry Pi or something similar for the webcam and use socket servers to connect to a webpage. We’ll see…!