Foxdog Studios, Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton, perform live and online interactive comedy experiences using software and hardware they create. Performances bring together a wide variety of technologies: Robot Chef has the audience (live or online) use their phones to control a DIY robot kitchen and cook a meal via augmented reality and microcontroller robotics
Itsnotreally.me is a webpage where you can record loops of yourself to playback via a virtual webcam in a video call, allowing you to fake your presence. You can record multiple loops which could be anything from you sitting at your desk smiling, nodding intently, laughing or even an empty chair. You can easily switch to your live cam when you need to engage in the conversation. Clips are quick and easy to record, so can be prepared in the minutes before a meeting, meaning clothes, lighting and background will be consistent with your live camera. The aim is to allow you to relax during a meeting, disengage when necessary and even save expressive energy with a “canned response”.
We (Foxdog Studios: Lloyd Henning & Peter Sutton) found it draining being watched while idle on screen. This happens most in large video meetings, where you may not be in direct conversation with the speaker, but you still have to be attentive of how you appear. Someone could always be watching you. Contrast this with real life meetings where people turn their heads and gaze to the person speaking.
Web technologies allow complete client side recording and storage of videos, allowing us to create a lightweight application that only saves your recordings and data to your own machine, nothing is stored on a server, all the data is yours. The project is a simple React application written in Typescript using the web standard MediaDevice and MediaRecorder APIs to capture and record videos.
The Zoom obscura project aims to subvert video conferencing and itsnotreally.me achieves this by not allowing the platform to dictate how we passively engage with others in meetings via our webcams. By allowing users to create a palette of video loops to express their emotions, they can regain control of their presence.