What an interesting week-end! We just finished our beta test of the Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things prototype at Lincoln Center. Our team, "Elémentaire mon cher", were the "Killers", guiding three different groups of "Sherlocks" via Periscope, helping them to solve the crime that Killers and Sherlocks alike created collaboratively. Despite a multitude of technical problems, the feedback has been very positive!
Beacons, the Raspberry Pi connected rotary phone, the NFC chips, the conductrr app, and even Periscope, experienced technical difficulties. We rapidly reverted to the analog version of the experience, the only connected element being our link to the Sherlocks through Periscope. Here's a quick recap of the experience:
Over the course of a few weeks, we "Killers" collaborated to create the beginning of a story. We designed a crime scene, chose objects from various Sherlock Holmes stories to leave as clues, wrote a back story, and created a map overlay of the Lincoln Center showing where our crime was committed - in our case, Paris at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in the year 2018. (see the "article" in Le Monde) There are about 20 teams of 5 to 6 people working as "Killers", located across the globe, each with their own crime scene, objects and story.
This week-end, participants gathered at the Lincoln Center to be "Sherlocks". There were 5 teams of Sherlocks also with 5 to 6 members. They met their "bodies", actor's dressed from head to foot in neutral black, and were allowed to ask them 3 yes-or-no questions. They were then taken in hand by "Watson", our on the ground team member, who gave them a bag and opened the Periscope stream. From then on, we guided our Sherlocks through discovering our map, finding the body, and positioning the body to recreate the crime scene. We then asked them to take several "clues" from the bag - pictures of our clue objects - and place them around the 4 other bodies that had been placed by the other teams around the plaza of Lincoln Center.
The next step was for each of them individually to leave "descriptors" on each of these clues. For example if the object clue was a shoe, the descriptor might be: "Size 11W caked with dried mud".
Now it was time to craft a story. Our Sherlocks had to examine all of the clues that the other teams had left for them and decide, who the victim was, how he was killed, by whom and for what reason. This part of the experience gave us free rein to improvise and interact with the Sherlocks via Periscope, as we played a Moriarty style cat and mouse game with them. They then had to tell us their solution to the crime and have their "body" act out the murder scene.
The final step was to gather all the teams at Lincoln Center together to share their stories, illustrated by the black clad bodies. It was amazing to see how inventive and different each story was. The result of a truly collaborative effort between people literally scattered across the world!
Now our team can't wait to move forward with this exciting collaborative process! To get an idea of what we are working toward, check out this article on MEDIUM and don't hesitate to search for #sherlockIoT on any of your favorite social networks!