I arrived in Barcelona on the second day of the OFFF Festival in time to see Pete Hellicar & Joel Gethin Lewis take to the stage.
Hellicar and Lewis got together in 2008 and the focus of their work is in “creating groundbreaking experiences that use art, technology and design to take people into the moment and impart lasting memories.”
They are interested in making one off interactive pieces and talked about a project called Coke 24Hr Music in which a band could interact with their fans’ tweets.
Much more interesting though was the fact that the code from this large commercial project was then adapted for use in a suite of interactive therapy tools for autistic children.
They told a captivated audience how their Somantics software was helping over- and under-stimulated autistic children to temporarily escape the prison of their condition through touch, gesture and camera input.
It was really nice to see a large commercial piece of work used to go onto enable great stuff like this and to see design being put to good use to help others, encouraging stuff. You can read more about the project and watch some videos here.
In closing they explained that they believe all software should be free and that their code is available for download from Github.
A great, thought-provoking talk.