Your Phone is Your Controller: Collaborative Gaming in Public Spaces

Location: Marina Ballroom D Level: Novice

MegaPhone makes digital signage interactive using a regular phone call.

MegaPhone is a real-time collaborative gaming platform where anyone can use any phone to interact with a public display, using their phone as a controller.

It’s NOT a downloadable application that runs on your phone, and it’s NOT a wireless network, like Wifi or Bluetooth. It’s just a regular phone call. Anyone can participate by just calling a regular phone number, using any phone, on any service provider, in any country. Their input changes what happens on the display.

There are two ways to send input to the display: keypad and voice. The keypad can be used much like a video game controller, and the volume of the phone’s microphone can also become input in the game. MegaPhone updates the game state on a big screen, or on multiple screens.

MegaPhone also closes the loop between a viewer and the screen by allowing two way communication. As part of a MegaPhone experience a caller can also contribute text, image, video, and audio content to the screen, and can receive the same. A caller can also receive mobile digital content, such as ringtones, wallpapers, and games. This allows for the development of fully interactive outdoor collaborative experiences of all types, including games, information systems, and realtime voting and polling.

Photo of Jury Hahn

Jury Hahn


Jury is a recent master’s recipient from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University, and has a background in motion graphics, broadcast design, graphic design, and interaction design. She enjoys 8-bit graphics, old school games, lo-fi sounds, and is interested in using new types of gaming to create ad-hoc social connections between strangers in a public space.

Photo of Dan Albritton

Dan Albritton


Dan answers the phones at the MegaPhone call center. Don’t call too fast, he only has two hands!


Diamond Sponsor

  • Sun Microsystems

Gold Sponsors

  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Disney
  • Google
  • Make magazine
  • Yahoo! Inc.

Silver Sponsors

  • AdaptiveBlue
  • Jaduka

Premier Media Partner

  • ZDNet