Marcin Ignac

Protothon - Rethinking Realtime

How camera capture can influence our interactions on the web?

At Protothon London our Team Purple Diamond (Me, Daniel Tauber, Addi Zakaria, Ben Dalton) investigated new use cases for bleeding edge HTML5 technology called WebRTC that enables your browser to use audio and video capture. We come up with several ideas touching on privacy, data encoding and tracking. Two of them were realized.

Live Facebook Avatars

In the first experiment we asked "What if the Facebook avatars were alive?". We used WebRTC to connect to your webcam, capture the current frame and send it the the server. All the people visiting our specially prepared mockup Facebook page would then appear live on their wall. This turned out to be quite funny experience and way less intimidating than everybody expected. Suddenly you can also notice if somebody pays attention to the chat discussion or is busy doing something else.

Curious browser

The the second demo we injected camera tracking into Google Search page. Your face is constantly tracked and when you don't look at the screen (your face can't be detected) the browser start searching for answers:

If you look at the screen again the browser starts to go back and deletes the entered text.

We tried to add personality to the browser. You can imagine it starting to mess with your Facebook page or chat to your friends if you are not next to your desk.

We used ccv.js library to do the face tracking.

You can see the demo below.