June 16 is “Bloomsday”, the day that James Joyce’s famous novel “Ulysses” takes place. Part of Joyce’s project in “Ulysses” was to recreate a specific day in Dublin in 1904 in obsessive detail, with everything from weather to transit to news headlines and even popular songs. In a way the novel is a kind of virtual reality experience – but an experience enhanced with mythical references and narrative games. Every year on June 16, people in Dublin and around the world celebrate Bloomsday by reading and reenacting parts of the book at the specific times and locations (or parallel ones) that they happen in the book.

For Bloomsday 2018, I have built a mobile and location-based experience for celebrating Bloomsday in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It combines time-and-location-based data feeds with mobile technology to guide users around the city. It also provides multimedia and augmented-reality experiences at the locations, as well as activity prompts to turn a simple meetup into a mythic ritual. This talk will discuss the technologies used and reflect on how modern mobile devices can bring to life a 100-year-old text. The talk will be extra timely, as it will be taking place ON Bloomsday, while the technology is being used in Halifax. Ideally, the talk will feature live updates from the event itself.


Speaker: Andrew Burke

Suggested Experience: None. But you shouldn’t be afraid of discussions of art and culture!

Technologies Used: iOS, Objective-C, Swift, Ruby on Rails, JSON, HTML, AJAX, JQuery, (Maybe React as well)

Keywords: Augmented Reality, Location, Mobile, Culture

Bloomsday On Your Device: James Joyce’s Ulysses and Mobile Tech