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IOCT 5000 Major Project Proposal                                        


1.  The Researcher

First Name

Last Name

Student Number

Email Address





2a. Working Title of the proposed investigation:  (Acronyms must not be used)


A passive interactive application for the BBC Big Screen in Leicester


3a. Do you want to work towards an MA or an MSc?




3b. With reference to the IOCT 5000 Module Handbook (pp 2-4), please identify the knowledge and skills characteristics of your proposed research project that define it as either an MA or an MSc.


  • Creative and innovative ability
  • Intellectual/aesthetic contemplation
  • Generation of ideas and concepts
  • Practical and theoretical research
  • Research through practice
  • Design and realisation of products, systems or services
  • Employing materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools associated with the disciplines studied with skill and imagination
  • Critical evaluation and testing
  • Recognise and analyse criteria and specification appropriate to specific problems and plan strategies for solution
  • Awareness of social, environmental, ethical, economic, professional and commercial considerations


In addition, an MSc may also involve;

  • Project underpinned by science
  • Complex technical issues in terms of the research, analysis, experimentation, development and production as well as the final outcomes.
  • Design, construction and evaluation of systems
  • Realisation - in terms of the final outcomes, any prototype should actually work
  • Display appropriate theory, practices and tools for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of technology-based systems
  • Providing technical specifications, relevant code and results of any technical testing




3. Programme of Research (All acronyms must be defined)

3.1 State the main aims of the investigation.


For my project I plan to create a passive interactive application for the BBC Big Screen in Leicester. This work will be based on video input streamed live from the space in front of the screen via a webcam on top of the screen. The video will then be modified and fed back to the screen, in order to allow some interactivity with the users of the screen to be implemented. Motion tracking techniques and color detection algorithms will be combined in an artistic way to achieve this.


The key aims of the project are:


  • To research current or recent large screen software applications and projects.
  • To discover how these projects use motion-tracking technologies to allow for interactivity.
  • Use my findings to decide on the best algorithms and tracking techniques to use to create my own interactive large screen application.
  • Develop a prototype and final application for submission to the BBC Big Screen.


3.2  How does the proposed research relate to previous published work in this field?                   

(Appropriate references should be cited)

The BBC Big Screens are a nationwide project from the BBC, LOCOG and UK local authorities, which allow for public broadcasting of various content  on large scale digital displays in public spaces. As well as news, sport, music, documentaries and other traditional broadcasting formats, the screens also include interactive facilities “enabling the audience to text their comments, send photo-images to the screen or play interactive applications”. (BBC, 2010)

As well as their own content, the BBC has also used these screens as a platform for the public to submit their own work, an early example of this being the Cornerhouse project in Manchester, in which “artists’ film & video, interactive and participatory screen based projects and arts-based community moving image” were exhibited (Cornerhouse, 2009).

With its potential for interactivity with large audiences in public spaces there are a number of interactive applications being developed for BBC Big Screens, which in particular rely on motion tracking technology. One such example of this is the Digital Grass installation, which ran on BBC Big Screens across the UK in 2007. The application worked by tracking the movement of passers by and using this to trigger an interaction with the program, in this case “as people pass the screen, fresh green grass sprouts at their feet” (HMC Interactive, 2007).


Using motion tracking in interactive applications is certainly not limited to the Big Screen as people continue to find new ways to immerse their audiences and users in digital content. One such example is GestureTek’s ScreenXtreme, an “immersive interactive display technology”, which uses “real-time body tracking and face tracking” to allow users of the screens to interact with the content. This type of tracking based technology, removing the need for input devices such as mice and keyboards, provides immersive and interactive experiences, which “capture a user’s attention and leave a lasting impression” (GestureTek, 2010).


3.3  Proposed methods of investigation, indicating research methodologies chosen and detailing their suitability for the investigation.


I will start the project by doing a literature review, in which I will be focusing on existing examples of interactive Big Screen projects, which make use of motion tracking technology.

I hope that this will lead me to understand the theories and concepts of previous projects including how they have been implemented and what makes them successful or unsuccessful.


Following on from this I will begin developing my own prototype for the specification of the BBC Big Screen system. This development will be ongoing process and will involve continuous testing of the application.


As well as this the technical development of the project will be backed up by the ongoing refinement and artistic development of the application with the aim of producing a fun and interactive program.


3.4 In what format will your work be submitted? e.g. Dissertation, Exhibition and supporting documentation, Application and project report.


The output of the project will be a software application that should be able to run on the BBC Big Screen in Leicester, provided it is accepted by the BBC representative. As well as this I will also be submitting a project report documenting the progress of my planning and software development.


The final prototype will be running as an application in the IOCT lab on one of the large screens to provide easy access for marking by tutors. As well as this I will also be submitting the application to the BBC Big Screen representative, which could eventually lead to the public screening of the application on the system.


3.5 Key references (To be submitted in an academically recognised format)


BBC (2010). Big Screens [Online] Available at: [Accessed May 2010]


Cornerhouse (2009). The Bigger Picture. [Online] Available at: [Accessed May 2010]


HMC Interactive (2007) Digital Grass. [Online] TwoFour Group. Available at: [Accessed May 2010]

GestureTek (2010). ScreenXtreme [Online] GestureTek Technologies. Available at: [Accessed May 2010]