The Glyph-O-Scope rather resembles a large microscope.
The main part of the Glyph-O-Scope
is a metal arm which juts out over the work bench. Mounted in this arm
is a view port with a round lens that the visitor can look through.
Under the view port the visitor can place specially printed cards that
have pictures and writing on them. Invisibly embedded in the pictures
are special marks called DataGlyphs. When viewed through the Glyph-O-Scope
view port, the viewer sees computer-generated images projected directly
on the special cards, placed in very precise locations. When viewed
through the Glyph-O-Scope, these images remain in the right location
even if the card is turned or moved.
What's it about? Looking for Clues allows the visitor to seek
and find unusual visual clues hidden in the questions on the specially
printed cards. It's about mystery, hidden visual information and puzzle
What is the experiment? RED is interested in exploring computer-augmented
reading. RED is also experimenting here with cryptography and how hidden
data might be used. Another part of this experiment is to explore the
possibilities of embedding digital images in regular pieces of paper.
And lastly, Glyph-O-Scope asks the question of what does it mean for
a machine to read, since the Glyph-O-Scope is also reading the card
along with the visitor.
How does it work? Embedded in the images on the cards are small
slashes, almost too small to be seen by the naked eye. These slashes
come in two varieties: fore-slashes ( / ) and back-slashes ( \ ). These
slashes represent binary digital data. In the Glyph-O-Scope
is a small camera that can recognize these slashes. A computer decodes
these slashes into data. This data tells the computer what image to
generate and where to project the image on the card. The visitor actually
looks through a "half-silvered" mirror to see the printed card and the
superimposed computer image at the same time. A similar technique could
be used to encode documents, blueprints, photographs and the like.