Live 8 Architecture - A few technical details
By malks on Gsh 10, 2005
As the lead architect for the text messaging infastructure at Live8, I spent lots of time slogging through the mud-filled gardens surrounding the Philadelphia Art Museum, pulling cables and pondering the meaning of life.
Anyway, we were under huge time pressures to build the front-end to drive a 50ft x 5ft screen, as well as to integrate the experience into Live 8, from a technical and branding standpoint.
To the right is a high-level visual that shows how we built a Java-based front end that leverages our existing backend messaging and carrier/aggregation services. The backend architecture is reused based on the work we did for ONE campaign and Bono of U2.
In the picture at the top, you can see Will Smith performing, with the call to action, encouraging people to text message their names to 86483. We scrolled this call to action across the screen every now and then, but mostly we scrolled the names of individuals who had texted in via their phones.
The center picture is from our position under the stage, where we physically integrated with the large screen. At the bottom, is a screen grab from a test run of our gui that drove the screen, retrieving live data arriving from our backend services, originating from the phones.
Matt Stevens and I designed the front end and Matt masterfully coded it. It's a Java-based UI that leverages secure, reusable, network-based services to retrieve the messages streaming in from people's cell phones (they are encouraged to send their full names as the text messag).
A Folsom Imagepro SDI is used to adapt from the Java interface to the jump screen, which is a Lighthouse unit.
More details later, but hope this provides some details of interest.