The Knowledge Management Research Group

The Second Prototype - Hyperbolic Angels and Devils

One day, in a meeting with Katarina, I drew up a use-case scenario on the white-board by our usual group meeting place - the 'kitchen roundtable' at CID. The presented material was chosen both for its interest, as well as for its usefulness to demonstrate various forms of multi-medial support. Katarina took the whole thing down on paper, and our story-board became the basis for the implementation. We concentrated on geometry - presenting subjects such as e.g. Pythagorean numbers, crystalline structures and hyperbolic geometry. We used analogies from optics to explain the idea of a geodesic curve, and showed a film (and a computer animated sequence) to illustrate that the fastest route between two points is not always a straight line. We analyzed Escher's famous woodcut 'Circle Limit IV' (Angels and Devils) to show that it represents a kind of wallpaper symmetry that cannot exist in the (ordinary) Euclidean plane - since it contains both 3-fold and 4-fold centers of rotational symmetry.

The second prototype(the Angels & Devils) also contained various sound-tracks.We had no sound recording facilities at CID, but through the courtesy of Osqradion at KTH, we were given access to their facilities. Magnus Skantz, Rikard Linde and myself were involved in this enterprise. Two days before the demo, we brought a power-book to the sound studio. Then I read the text to each film 'as it ran', and Magnus taped it. Since the films were rather big (= took up a lot of disk space), we had to copy them one by one across the net.

On demo-day (Dec. 16, 1996) the Angels & Devils prototype was well received. Many people found the content interesting, although the degree of interactivity was not so high. Several people also commented on the differences between the first and the second prototype.

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