Video By: Marc Davis, William Tran, Arian Saleh, Erick Herrarte, Anita Wilhelm, Dan Perkel, Ali Sant, Nick Reid

System overview
Position : UX Design Lead
Platforms : Symbian
Responsibilities : Personnas, User Stories, Wireframes, Mobile Prototyping, Usability Testing, Interaction Research

Garage Cinema Research was the basis for much of my interest in mobile media, the powers of media production, and the importance of systemic metadata systems. As part of this research group during my Master’s studies at iSchool, UC Berkeley, we were focused on enabling daily media consumers to become daily media producers, thinking which in 2002 was quite forward as the ‘social bubble’ was in it’s very early infancy. With the dawn of the first Camera Phones in 2003, we saw a large opportunity to explore the beginnings of “the first networked camera” and explore new meanings for a photograph. We researched photographic habits, how those behaviors were changing with the disruption of a new technology, and how the meaning of the artifact itself changed – going from portrait to visual conversation. As well, we created a system which aimed to capture meaningful semantic metadata at the point of capture on mobile devices. Using social network data, artificial intelligence algorithms, and face detection software, we tried to guess who, where (semantic point of interest names), and what contextual semblances were within the photo (ie we tried to tag the photo automatically). During the following years, we produced a system called Mobile Media Metadata. The second iteration of our work focused mainly on gathering this information through amassed social knowledge – and we learned that using social and heuristic system metrics proved to be much more efficient and accurate than machine processing. My role was fulfilled through leading interaction design and usability/ design researcher responsibilities for the initial iteration of the project.

Mobile Media Metadata was the basis of Yahoo! Berkeley Labs, which was opened in Berkeley, California from 2006-2008 and the inspiration for Caterpillar Mobile – a start-up project which used light game mechanics to encourage more photo sharing on cameraphones.