A big part of our beliefs is contributing back to the creative communities that we draw inspiration from. While at the LAB at Rockwell Group we designed, developed and distributed many pieces of Open Source software. One that we came to rely on as more than just software, but as part of the ethos of the LAB was Spacebrew. It's interactive, social, fun, and community oriented software for crafting interactive spaces.
What is Spacebrew?
Spacebrew is an open, dynamically re-routable software toolkit for choreographing interactive spaces. Or, in other words, a simple way to connect interactive things to one another. Every element you hook up to the system is identified as either a subscriber (reading data in) or a publisher (pushing data out). Data is in one of three standardized formats: a boolean (true/false), a number range (0-1023) or a string(text); it can also be sent as a custom format you specify. Once these elements are set up, you can use a web based visual switchboard to connect or disconnect publishers and subscribers to each other.
Why did you create it?
In our time creating the LAB at Rockwell Group, we focused on blurring the line between physical and virtual spaces. We still think about choreographing environments and the interaction of the objects, people, and stories within them. We spend a lot of time making things - both physical and digital - talk to each other. However, there was a problem where instead of spending our time designing what objects were saying we took most of our time just to get them connected and talking. We wanted Spacebrew to make that as easy as possible so that we could focus on the choreography.
Great for Workshops, Teaching, and Learning
Spacebrew bridges the gap between the physical and virtual, making it easy for things from both worlds to talk to each other. Our hope is that Spacebrew becomes something that can link groups together, allowing them to focus on the creation of new and meaningful experiences. See many of the projects created with Spacebrew over on the Spacebrew blog.
Spacebrew allows people with different technical abilities, different design abilities, and different ideas to collaborate on creating new things together. If you'd like to contribute to Spacebrew you can take a look at the Github page. Visit Spacebrew.cc to start creating your own interactive spaces. Spacebrew wouldn't have been possible without these people: James Tichenor, Joshua Walton, Zachary Boka, Eric Ishii Eckhardt, Jessica Edmiston, Hendrik Gerrits, Erin Gouveia, Quin Kennedy, Adi Marom, Meghna Pathak, Brett Renfer, Julio Terra, and Lucas Vickers. Thanks!