May 012014

“Like the back of your hand.” We’ve all used the expression to mean something we know intimately. But how well do you really know the back of your hand?

This is one of many discoveries to be had at this year’s New Media Night at the University of Maine’s IMRC (Innovative Media Research and Commercialization center) this Friday from 4-7pm. Apps and installations on display challenge the viewer’s assumptions about philanthropy, beekeeping, snowboarding, graffiti, and much more.

Jeff Dreher’s Back of Your Hand, a mobile application (game) for iOS, is one of them. This game will, through the course of a timed challenge, assess users’ ability to locate a photo of the back of their hand among a field of other users’ hands.

The player is asked to photograph the back of their hand with his or her smartphone (the game is both an iOS native application as well as a mobile web-app). Once the player has uploaded the photo, she is presented with a field of over 100 hands—in a random placement—and asked to find hers. A timer keeps the game fast-paced and hi-score chart keeps things competitive. Players often think it will be easy, but learn that their hand just might not be as familiar territory as they thought.

You can find descriptions of all the capstones at the 2014 New Media Night here. A number of the projects were recipients of grants from the New Media Correll Fund.