A plan to turn Bristol into a city of "secret, digital conversations" by allowing people to talk to lampposts, post boxes and bus stops was won a prestigious award.
The 'Hello Lamp Post!' project was declared the winner of Bristol's first Playable City award on Monday.
Created by the London-based studio Pan, the idea was chosen from 93 others from around the world.
Its creators will receive £30,000 to turn the idea into a reality by this summer. It will then be toured around the world.
Pan explains that 'Hello Lamp Post!' will allow people "to tune in to the secret conversations of the city ".
Instead of just hooking up digital message boards to post boxes, it will instead use existing codes on street furniture which are currently used by city councils to organise repairs and maintainance.
Pedestrians can use these codes to text a lamp post or bus stop, and receive a personal reply.
Playable City explains:
"Every post box in Bristol has a six figure code, every bollard has two, some of the benches have seven and the storm drains have 14. Text the word ‘Hello + the name of the object + its code’ to the special phone number and the item of street furniture will immediately text you back with a question. Will it be pleased to see you? Irritated at having been left in the rain? Or will it tell you a secret? The more you play, the more the hidden life of the city will be revealed."
Ben Barker from PAN Studios said in a statement:
"This is a huge surprise. When we saw the quality of the shortlist, with work from so many names that we respect, we never imagined being selected. We are really flattered and excited to continue to develop the idea with Watershed on what makes a Playable City over the coming months.
The full list of 10 shortlisted ideas can be found below:
Hello Lamp Post!
"A city-wide conversation taking place through street furniture – bus stops, post boxes, rubbish bins and even lamp posts can talk. Objects are ‘woken’ and chatted to by testing their unique reference and, in the online hub, inhabitants will be able to follow their city’s on-street debates."
"The City you Dreamed of"
"Larger than life building blocks with embedded sensors will come tumbling out of a tip-up truck touring the city. People of all ages and backgrounds can pick up the blocks, move them around, colour them in and shape them to build their own city of dreams."
"A site-specific interactive pavilion and immersive environment, constructed using 3D scans of personal objects provided by the public, representing the different relationships people have with the city ."
"A colossal crowd-controlled installation using balloons, microphones and fans. The city can collaborate to play: using phones and microphones to move the balloons into a safe house or a container full of spikes."
"A series of 3-D scanning booths (reminiscent of twentieth century photo booths) will be positioned throughout the city. Visitors will be able to get their bodies scanned and contribute them to a digital version of the city. Special viewing bubbles will allow anyone to see both themselves and the life size imprints left by those who were there before them."
"Icelandic musician Björk caused a sensation when she released her latest album as an iPad app. UK’s Fred Deakin goes even further, releasing his album as a series of installation experiences in locations around the city, mixing music, light and generative interfaces for a musical experience that is as new as it is immersive."
Sing A Little Song
"Inspired by Ludwig Koch’s classic field recordings of birdsong, a number of digital birds will be installed around the city. Wirelessly connected to the internet, they will emit a range of simple melodies based on tweets and messages sent to them, for example the tweet “#birdsong #castlepark beautiful day” would be interpreted to produce a beautiful melody."
"Cities already host large scale and big impact sporting events, but with Robot Runners comes an opportunity to take part in a massive city-centre spectacle involving up to one hundred robots. Players work together to complete tasks and earn points, controlling the robots via a smartphone app connected to a central server. Each game lasts around 30 minutes, is non-competitive and requires no training."
"The modern city is full of display screens. Most show advertising content, some provide public information such as weather or travel updates. Playscape is a proposal for the first ever infrastructure of public digital displays that provide free public play. Situated around the city and reactive to weather, time and events, Playscape screens will give passers by ideas and rules of simple games they can play there and then on the spot."
Jolly Brolly Mystery
"The Jolly Brolly Mystery is a fun way to explore Bristol while solving a murder mystery - even on rainy days. Whenever it rains in the city a new clue will appear at an undisclosed location, which can be picked up by a GPS enabled umbrella. There will be a prize for those who solve the mystery."