Conversation for Three is a responsive table that detects diner’s emotional changes during a conversation and projects different films, animations, conversational suggestions, film quotes and sounds depending on the emotions being detected.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab and Architecture and Built Environment have collaborated with artist Jo Fairfax to create this unique dining experience that is being showcased at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham from 17th – 19th July.
The table picks up people’s emotions via two webcams that are in a vase in the centre of the table. These are programmed with facial recognition software which detects emotions including happiness and surprise and then triggers various categories of films.
Diners also needn’t worry about awkward silences as the table is also programmed to ask one of fifty questions including; “What is your opinion of freedom of speech?” or “If you were invisible for a day what would you do?”.
There are also 3D characters of the chef and front of house characters, based on the real ones at the Broadway, that feature as part of the experience. Depending on emotions detected the characters will appear as a film projection from the light shade above– the chef may be dancing in response to happiness or the front of house character may be a little drunk delivering wine, there are 50 possibilities!
These two characters also stand as statues on the table overlooking the action and when diners look at them a film quote is projected from within the table onto an integrated screen. Diners will also be joined by rotating salt and pepper shakers that turn when a diner has a drink and menus and plates that feature special codes linked to the webcams that trigger lighting effects on the table.
No two moments the same
The project is the brainchild of artist Jo Fairfax, who has been designing for public and private spaces for over 20 years. He said, “I am so grateful I have had this opportunity to develop this piece of work, combining the magic of the digital with the ‘human-ness’ of the physical. I think this fusion creates a deeply rich territory that reflects the combinations that we all have with our imaginations and bodies and shows that in life no two moments are ever the same.”
Holger Schnadelbach led the work in the Mixed Reality lab and said; “This has been a really interesting piece of work that seamlessly combines technology, art and architecture to provide an immersive experience an a very unusual way. I am sure no one will have ever had a dining experience like Conversation for Three and it will be very interesting to see how people respond.”
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Broadway is currently in its 28th year of operation and attracting 400,000 visitors per year. Located in the Creative Quarter Lace Market area of Nottingham city centre, Broadway is recognised as one of the leading independent cinemas and creative media centres in the English regions.
Broadway is also a charitable organisation and provides a social, educational and cultural alternative to the commercial cinema experience within a non-for-profit framework, encouraging audiences to experience a diverse programme of film, arts, creative media events and exhibition. Broadway produces a number of educational and community film and creative media projects that aim to stimulate and entertain providing opportunities to enjoy, learn and exchange skills and ideas.