: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comDENVER -- The four-day 2008 Democratic National Convention this week is not just a political event -- it's a celebration of social media, high-definition video and really kick-ass internet connectivity.
"This is America's convention, and we're using new technology this time, like text messaging and Google and YouTube, to really break down these walls to make this [convention] more open and interactive," says Brook Colangelo, the DNCC's director of technology.
This year's convention sees multiple firsts in technological innovations for the quadrennial political party gathering. For starters, the Democratic National Convention Committee is providing bloggers (and floor delegates) with "video-upload booths" where they can upload their footage to YouTube or any other online-video platform. The DNC is using text messaging and streaming video to keep delegates (and those following along at home) up to date.
Separately, an alliance of groups, including progressive group blog the DailyKos, ProgressNow and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, are hosting and sponsoring an 8,000-square-foot "bloggers tent," where attending bloggers, vloggers and podcasters will have a place to work with a high-bandwidth internet connection.
Here's a look at some of the tech inside the Pepsi Convention Center, where the event is taking place.
The convention committee hired top talent to design its futuristic-looking stage: Designer Bruce Rodgers came up with the idea for the Democrats' flashy podium. Rodgers' other clients include Madonna, Mötley Crüe, the Dave Matthews Band and the National Football League. The DNC convention setup features 8,000 square feet of video-projection surfaces, and that includes three 103-inch Panasonic LCD HD screens, the largest of their kind.
The screens will project daily themes of the convention and other relevant pictures as events unfold.
The DNCC says that more than 50 technicians and 70 local stagehands have worked more than 25,000 hours to create the 70-foot-wide and 60-feet-high stage and podium.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comCNN chief national correspondent John King, at the "Mini Magic Wall." The touchscreen is a smaller version of the "Magic Wall
" that CNN has used in election coverage. It is produced by Perceptive Pixel, a company founded by multitouch pioneer Jeff Han.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comJosh Braun, CNN Producer of New Media, works on a map of the convention floor, which will be geo-referenced to real-time voting data. His computer is connected to the nearby giant touchscreen used by John King.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comCNN uses a "Polecam" system on one corner of the floor for correspondent Candy Crowley. The monitor and controller at the opposite end of the pole holding the camera are shown here.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comA state-delegation voting kiosk with internet connectivity for bloggers is shown here. There are a total of 56 of these kiosks in the convention hall. The foreground computer is used to tally delegate votes. The monitor at right is for those who are sight- or hearing-impaired. A phone is on each side of the voting computer: one connected to Obama for America and one to the DNC secretary, both used to coordinate issues on the floor. The connection is hardwired so as not to compete with RF devices (such as video cameras) from the news media. The yellow cable gives internet access to bloggers.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comIn background is the DNC network hardware and in foreground is an OC-192 circuit, providing 10 Gbps of bandwidth -- enough, convention organizers say, to connect 220,000 homes to the internet.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comWith 56 blogging kiosks, a massive OC-192 internet connection, blogger-friendly amenities, streaming video and 8,000 square feet for bloggers nearby, the Pepsi Center is about to host the most-blogged event ever.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comDNC Committee technology director Brook Colangelo holds a cable at a state-delegation voting kiosk. The connection is hardwired so as not to compete with RF devices (such as video cameras) from the news media -- plus, it will provide a more reliable connection than WiFi could in an environment where so many people want internet access.
: Photo: Steve Peterson/Wired.comJoe Silber and Lysandra Nelson from San Francisco mug at the podium for a photo op. Behind them are three Panasonic 103-inch HDTV displays; 8,000 square feet of video projection area is behind that.
http://feeds.wired.com/~f/wired/topheadlines?i=qLVAUK http://feeds.wired.com/~f/wired/topheadlines?i=ZZYFWk http://feeds.wired.com/~f/wired/topheadlines?i=Xzjdsk http://feeds.wired.com/~f/wired/topheadlines?i=YsLlFK