Plug-In : An arts coucil technology residency

Introduction | Research | Project Stage 1 | Project Stage 2 | Project Stage 3 | Results & Links


The final application installer (.sis) exists at a modest 27kb. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the work is done algorithmically and there is no need to store large graphics files etc. This file is almost instantly transferred via bluetooth/infared and would not be excessive if received over the air either.

Although the limitations of working with a restrictive platform and OS can be frustrating and inevitably reduce the range of expression available I feel that the project has allowed for the development of something that is in fact currently unique for symbian devices. The choice of mobile platforms is perhaps the most primitive working environment amongst entertainment/gaming devices (when compared to consoles/PCs and even Gameboy level hardware) and as such initial artistic expectations had to be led as much by what is possible with the technology as by their own ambitions.

When working with new technology/software the learning curve will always be steep. This required the first half of the project to essentially be focussed on establishing a familiarity with the systems involved. Although some artists may have chosen to concentrate on using the technology as a preset medium for dissemination of artistic work, I decided as a programmer to write 'within' the technology to produce something that actually ran inside the machine. This was a challenging task for many reasons but I feel like the final product justified the attempt.

Working with a Technolgy/Industry partner also required certain working practices to be adhered to. Ifone provided technical support in terms of testing and development hardware. But as distributors (rather than developers) there was little programming advice. Luckily mobile developers are keen to promote the use and development of their products and so much information is available online to aid programmers and artists.

In conclusion I would say that writing for mobile devices is a fascinating area which also leads to a whole new method of dstribution and communication. Development of this area is only going to progress at a faster and faster rate, to the point where mobile devices will become the most ubiquitous form of technology available for an artist/programmer to work with. There are however many restrictions with the medium but if you bear those in mind then you can still create some unique work that represents an artistic vision and also pushes the envelope of mobile coding.

Reference Links Nokia developers site Symbian programming symbian programming resources OS homepage Good article on Voxel Mapping Demo-scene programming techniques
Anglefire Nokia/symbian page a comprehensive list of links for both developers and users