Live Objects

Changing the way we explore and interact with the surrounding environment

What is a Live Object?


A small device that can stream media content wirelessly

to nearby mobile devices without an Internet connection

Discover and Explore


Live Objects are associated with real objects in the environment,

such as an art piece in a museum, a statue in a public space,or a

product in a store.

Users exploring a space can discover nearby Live Objects with

their mobile devices and view content associated.

Media and Interaction


Peer-To-Peer: Media are locally stored in the live object and

streamed to the user device.

The mobile device retains a record of the media viewed (and

links to additional content), while the objects can retain a

record of who viewed them.

The platform supports two-way interaction between the live

objects and mobile devices. A user may for example send a

comment back to the live object about the received content.




We implemented 3 versions of hardware devices

  • FlashAir
  • CuBox
  • Raspberry Pi




We implemented a software platform supporting the discovery, P2P connection, and two-way interaction for Android Devices.

In the future, the platform will also support iOS. The Platform is built to ease the development of future applications using live objects.

The Platform is extensible to support different low-level protocols (WiFi, Bluetooth) and hardware device.



On top of the the software platform, different applications for different scenarios can be implemented:

  • At conventions fairs stands can advertise their presence and be discovered by visitors
  • Touristic app to discover the hidden gems of the city
  • Games and interactive learning experience for children
  • Interactive marketing campaigns

Future extensions will look into making the system more social, exploring game applications such as media “scavenger hunts” built on top of the platform, and incorporating other types of media such as live and historical data from sensors associated with the objects.

Our Team


We are proudly part of the Object-Based Media Group at MIT Media Lab

V. Michael Bove, Jr.

Head of Object Based Media Group

Valerio Panzica La Manna

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Arata Miyamoto

Visiting scientist from Toshiba

Timothy Chong