Riding the Net
©2000, Christa SOMMERER, Laurent MIGNONNEAU, Roberto
ATR Media Integration and Communications Research Lab, Kyoto
Riding the Net presents a novel approach to browsing the Internet in a more intuitive, playful and entertaining fashion. While two users talk and communicate with each other, the keywords of their communication are being picked up by the system's speech recognition engine. These keywords are then used to search and download the corresponding images from the Internet. When users for example speak about "houses" or "flowers," different images of "houses" or "flowers" are downloaded. As there is usually a vast amount of images available for each keyword, users see new image icons constantly being retrieved from the Internet. All images are then collectively displayed in 3-D in the system's interactive window and streamed from the respective side of each user. As images come from either the left or right side of the screen, they all stream toward each other before leaving the screen and being replaced by new images derived from new keywords spoken by the two users. The entire image scenario on the window surface constantly changes, since it is a direct interpretation of the users' dialogue and communication with each other.
Both users can also touch the image icons on the screen: this halts the images temporarily so users can look at specific image icons in more detail. By doing this, the exact web address (URL) for this specific image icon can be downloaded onto a separate computer screen so users find out where this image came from and what it refers to.
Riding the Net thus provides an entertaining and playful way to browse
the Internet and, somewhat similar to watching TV, users become intensively
engaged in the vast amount of visual information available and presented
by the system. However Riding the Net is obviously more