2003, Brendan started work on an auto-portrait
machine as part of the Punters
project, with help from Dr James Condron at Media
Lab Europe. The aim was to create a portable
machine that could take photographs
of fairground riders at their peak moment of thrill. The machine
used GSR biosensing and an algorithm derived from The
Walker Thrill Factor.
resulting machine (Thrill Technology
MKI) and photographs were shown at M+R
Gallery, the Science
Museum, and the Wellcome
2006, Brendan drew up plans to further develop the technology to
enable continuous monitoring and broadcast of riders' physiological
signals. This was to form part of a live performance - Fairground:
Thrill Laboratory - which Walker had been invited to create
for the Dana
Centre in London.
technology needed to be capable of monitoring both facial expressions
to provide insight into the rider's level of pleasure, and stress levels to determine the rider's state of arousal.
invited the Mixed
Reality Laboratory, University
College London, and Health Smart Ltd to help him realise the
system - Thrill
data representations were created for the event - expert,
requiring scientific interpretation; and non-expert,
which could be easily understood by the public, both of which were
live inside the museum.
2007, Brendan continued to work with MRL to develop the system, producing
Technology MKIII for Oblivion:
Thrill Laboratory at Alton
Towers. Thrill Technology MKIII incorporates a robust record
/ replay system and tools
for analysing the data developed by MRL. Videos
and data collected from O:TL are currently being analysed by Walker,
MRL, and the School
of Psychology at the University of Nottingham.
and MRL continue to collaboratively develop Thrill Technology both
as an analytical tool, and a device to be used by Brendan and others
in innovative forms of entertainment. Brendan and
MRL are also developing expertise in analysing extreme experience,
and are collecting a growing body of data to support the design
of new experience in different contexts.
Technology MKIV was used by Brendan to help produce Discovery Channel's pilot show Engineering Thrills, which aired in October 2008.