WILDERNESS LAB: MOTORBIKES AND MOBILE STREAMING

Easy Rider, BMX Bandits, and Akira. Boys on bikes. Freedom. Epic landscapes, and leatherware in acid hues.  Live streaming while in motion across the dusty roads of the Nevada Desert, through Australia’s suburban streets, or at the helm of Kawasaki Ninja through the neon-lit streets of Neo-Tokyo, is becoming a tangible reality.

As part of the Wilderness Lab R+D premise to investigate methods for web streaming/ netcasting while ‘on the go’ in natural environs, the key challenge for me was to uncover a portable, accessible solution for live streaming while on the back of some hot wheels, in an environment with scant and patchy network coverage.

With the release of the wearable GoPro video camera, free apps such as Ustream and assistance from Ian Campbellan alumni of the Portsea Officers Cadet School, and motobike enthusiast with experience biking in northern India, we were able to stream content of the ride straight to Atelier Eden blog’s LIVE section.

The laps undertaken at various speeds of the military barracks, cemetary, quarantine grounds, and beach, this unfortunately did not translate to an unseamless fluid uStream, filmed via the iPhone’s camera, to the Atelier Eden’s blog LIVE webchannel. The network coverage in the park site dropped in and out, translating to large gaps in ‘dead air’ and patchy and pixellated flickering perpectives of the Quarantine station on the AE LIVE webpage.

As live streaming using go pros, and apps (ie: Stream) is at this stage dependent on a reliable wifi network by a providers such as Telstra, the next research and development stage into ‘live bike streaming’ will be to investigate and test the following parameters:

- methods for expanding and strengthening a network provider’s coverage and range across a wider geographical spread in a park site

- implementing and designing a portable network wifi system that can be ported in backpacks, strapped to the actual motobike itself

- using satellites and/or tetradec cubes

- streaming with iPhone/Smartphone and GoPros mounted on the bike rider’s helmet and/or bike frame.

The technical and logistical knowledge gained through these preliminary streaming test off a motobike at Point Nepean National Park using uStream, an iPhone, and the Park’s existent network coverage, forms the foundation for future investigation into a re-envisioning of the road movie genre, streamed to the net, created in collaboration with the motobike boys and nomadic communities living in the mountainous terrain of the Himalayas.

Stay tuned.

Thea.

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