The Viral Spaces group researches the intersection of mobile networks with physical spaces. We develop both the basic technology of proximal networks as well as applications that demonstrate the value of wireless local interactions. These span transactional activities, emergent social styles, and transforming localized experience into learning activities and team endeavors. We try to transform the space around us and the organizations in which we operate into vivid, self revealing places that engage rather than distract us. We devote special energy to infrastructure-free communications that scale and function when central access is unavailable or costly. We also develop basic technologies that allow direct interaction with the things around us like objects and displays using sensing and effecting devices that are already in or amenable to being embedded in mobile and portable devices.
Creating an environment for exploration and expression through the world of media.
Air Mobs is a community-based P2P cross-operator WiFi tethering market. It provides network connectivity when one device has no available Internet connection or roaming costs are too high, and another device has excellent network connectivity and a full battery.
CoSync builds the ability to create and act jointly into mobile devices . This mirrors the way we as a society act both individually and in concert.
We explore techniques to integrate digital codes into physical objects. Spanning both the hard and the soft, this work entails incorporating textures, patterns, and passive electronic elements into the surfaces of objects in a coded manner.
SonicLink is a fully decentralized, proximal communication framework for personal devices to seamlessly discover, connect, and interact with arbitrary public installations (e.g. digital billboards).
BTNz! is a lightweight, viral interface consisting of a button and screen strategically positioned around public spaces to foster social interactions.
AudioFile overlays imperceptible tones on standard audio tracks to embed digital information that can be decoded by standard mobile devices. AudioFile lets users explore their media more deeply by granting them access to a new channel of communication.
Grafitti codes allow users to encode a small piece of information into a physical space. It uses accelerometer based paths to unlock data. These paths can be drawn onto any surface with analouge tools (such as marker) and scanned by tracing them over with a mobile phone.
VR Codes are dynamic data invisibly hidden in television and graphic displays. They allow the display to present simultaneously visual information in an unimpeded way, and real-time data to a camera.
A platform for exploring strategy and expression that creates Chess teams to encourage learning in place.
CoCam is a self-organizing network for real-time camera image collaboration. CoCam automatically joins other media creators into a network of collaborators..
Point & Shoot Data explores the use of visible light as a wireless communication medium for mobile devices. A snap-on case allows users to send messages to other mobile devices based on directionality and proximity.
Creative and productive information interchange in organizations is often stymied by a perverse incentive setting among the members. We transform that competition into a positive exchange by using market principles.
A simple platform to bring the mobile interaction into the social space, from the screen to the world.
An optical magnifying glass to let each person get different information from the same screen.
Andrew Lippman has a more than 35-year history at MIT. His work at the Media Lab has ranged from wearable computers to global digital television. Currently, he heads the Lab's Viral Spaces research group, which examines scalable, real-time networks whose capacity increases with the number of members. This new approach to telephony, sensor interconnection, and broadcasting transfers "mainframe communications" technology to distributed, personally defined, cooperative communicators. In addition, he co-directs MIT's interdisciplinary Communications Futures program. Lippman has directed research programs on digital pictures, personal computers, entertainment, and graphics, and he has served on advisory boards of technology start-ups. Currently, he is on the science councils of both non-profit and for-profit companies addressing global information infrastructures. Lippman received both his BS and MS in electrical engineering from MIT. In 1995 he completed his PhD studies at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.
A collection of historical projects, tweets, and memorabilia.
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If you are interested in doing a UROP with the Viral Spaces group, please contact the group member whose work best aligns with your interests. More information about the UROP program can be found on the MIT UROP page.