At a time when the world's major cities seem increasingly atomised and fragmented, Montreal’s Megaphone project aims to bring people together in public spaces by giving them a voice. More specifically, the engineers and designers at Montreal’s Moment Factory want to provide the city’s inhabitants with the opportunity to have their voice broadcasted to a large audience with the aid of multimedia and cutting-edge voice recognition technologies.
Developed in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, Megaphone celebrates the time-honored tradition of public speaking, but add new state-of- the-art elements in the attempt to bring it into the 21st century.
Moreover, the large-scale interactive projection aims to express the individuality of each voice by a): introducing a real-time layer that responds to the immediacy of speech and b): a second layer, which is a digital echo of everything the users have said and effectively a sort of collective memory that evolves and changes as it receives input and ideas. Quite brilliant, no?
Unsurprisingly, Megaphone is inspired by London’s notorious Speaker's Corner where the city’s inhabitants come together to voice and lend their ears to all manner of topics under the sun. By bringing social media-and voice recognition technologies into the equation, Moment Factory aim to magnify and enhance the speaker’s message, which will then presumably make it resonate more forcefully with a larger audience.
For our money this concept could have a decidedly universal appeal. If we, for a moment, indulge in potential scenarios, could you, for example, imagine adding the MYO gesture recognition technology to the proceedings while perfecting the voice-to-image generation and placing the interactive installation in political hotspots around the world? Wouldn’t that potentially bring about a new kind of vibrant, 21st century democracy?
In any case, we think that Megaphone is a concept that warrants quite a bit of further exploration.
Check out more on Megaphone and Moment Factory here: