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These reports were written by a team of local volunteers: Angela Merino, Assina Bounis, Celia Boyer, Eric Bianchi, Irčne Butor, Julian Albert Kilker and Melisa Makzume. The reports summarise information for people not able to attend the sessions. Their comprehensiveness and accuracy are not guaranteed. For more information, please contact the presenters directly. Their e-mail addresses are available at

Track 7: User-Centered Issues

Session: Sensing the Net

By Irčne Butor, 24 July 1998

Shin-ichi Takemura <  > from the Tohoku University of Art and Design (Japan) talked about Sensorium, apublic sensory platform on the Net (, there are also English pages).

Sensorium is an attempt to develop the potential of the Internet as new "doors ofperception". It brings our senses on the Net. This design experience is unique to theInternet age. It is an alternative live digital museum. The speaker showed us the exampleof the breathing earth, a senseware to stimulate our senses. The Sensorium team expressedtheir wish to share a platform to extend our senses through the Net, without thinking ofreplacing our physical senses. It is senseware. The speaker showed then the example ofStarplace, a live system that develops our sensations using the solar system always moving("eyes meet stars"), implemented by simple Javascript. He returned to theexample of Sensorium ("you are not who you where"). It is the sense ofconnectivity turning the Internet itself into content. He then gave the example ofNetSound.

Hiroyuki Ohno < > fromthe Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) gave the example of Stetho. It is possible touse various commands ("tcpdump" is one of them) information about packetstransiting on the Net. Stetho converts packet information into sound. Instead ofvisualizing information on a screen the user hears it.

We went back to the first speaker with the example of NetSound, using protocols likehttp and ftp to produce sound. Sensing the Net makes it more tangible.

When asked if there are other experiences similar to Stetho, Hiroyuki Ohno answeredthat this approach is sound experience. He thinks there is something similar in US andproposed to use search engines with the key word "sonification". When asked howhe got the idea of Stetho, he answered that he is a university teacher and his studentsuse music keyboard at the laboratory for computers networks. Students try to integratecomputers networks with music. They are using Stetho to manage computers networks. Whenhundreds of packets are coming on each screen it is easier to find if something is strangewith sonorisation instead of just looking at the screens. Sonification is important forcomputers networks.

Thomas C. Agoston < >from IBM Asia-Pacific (Japan) showed us the site of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games ( ). The site wasmultilingual (English, Japanese, and French). It provided timely game results. It wasaddressed to all kind of users. To provide information where and when desired, it usedcompound pages with dynamic content. Then the speaker gave us a guided tour of the sitestarting with the top page, going through the sports section, the countries section, theathletes section, the Nagano section, the fun/children section, ending with an origamiinstructions page. The novelty of the site was real time results, interactive multimediafeatures, comprehensive content, network technology. A description of the Nagano Games WebServer and of the Nagano Web Server followed. Statistical data were given with examples ofdaily traffic basic ratios. New challenges await the next Summer Olympic Games (2000).

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