2.5 Home and Leisure

The ITGS specific scenario 2.5 Home and Leisure is covered in this chapter. This includes the use of information technology for entertainment and leisure purposes, and examines how technology affects our daily quality of life, from the increased use of domestic robots to technology-integrated "smart homes". There are many links to other parts of the book and ITGS syllabus, including 1.4 Intellectual Property3.3 Networks, 3.5 Personal and Public Communications, and 3.11 Robotics, artificial intelligence and expert systems. The resources below support the textbook content:

  • Sports technology
  • Digital preservation
  • Augmented Reality
  • Smart homes
  • 3D Printing
  • Digital policing
  • Digital entertainment
  • Published and broadcast information: Television
  • Published and broadcast information: Newspapers
  • Published and broadcast information: Citizen journalism
Digital movie effects

Digital Effects in the Movies

Myriad sites explain how Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is used to create special effects, alien environments, and even entirely new creatures in modern cinema. Digital Synopsis has a good overview of numerous films before and after special effects have been applied. It's a great way to see the basic setup of green screen, texture mapping, and other relevant technologies.

Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) have been pioneers of visual effects for decades. In addition to this digital effects breakdown of Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens, their YouTube channel has videos for many of their films, including Kong: Skull Island, Deepwater Horizon, and Warcraft. The ILM website is another must-visit.

Pixar are also leaders in this field, and their web site houses excellent resources that shouldn't be missed. How Stuff Works covers ILM's The Perfect Storm, while Popular Mechanics covers Transformers.

Lord of the Rings: Digital Horses and Black Swan Effects Reel are two behind-the-scenes style videos. And, of course, no discussion of film special effects would be complete without an article about the special effects in Avatar (BBC).

Updated: 2017-10-23
Virtual actors resources

Virtual actors

Virtual actors are digital 'actors' that supplement or even replace human actors. The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) explains the Light Stage technology that is used to create digital scans of an actor's face. The BBC Click video Hollywood 'craves digital versions of actors' is an amazing resource: can you spot the difference between the real Emily and the CGI Emily? The video Is this a video of a human? is also excellent.

More recently there have been several examples of digital recreations of actors performing in films. Star Wars: Rogue One featured digital recreations of both Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin).

Updated: 2017-10-23
Game addiction

Psychological considerations: Internet and game addiction

Computer gaming addiction raises many potential negative health, psychological, and economic impacts. The problem has become so bad in some countries that extreme measures have been taken to try to combat the issue:

Updated: 2018-03-28
Smart home

Exercise 13.1

Suggested rubric for the Smart Homes presentation task from the ITGS textbook.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Sports technology

Sports technology: Cricket, Tennis, and Football

Hawk Eye is a system used to assist the referee in several sports, including tennis, cricket and football. Haw Eye Sensors expands upon the original Hawk Eye system using a combination of video camera and sensors embedded into the pitch. Technology in Tennis, a blog by Jason Tsang, contains useful diagrams of the tennis Hawk-Eye system. The video Inside Hawkeye explains a bit more about how the system is used.

Virtual Eye is a similar system used in cricket to assist the third umpire and provide data analysis. Virtual Eye maker owns up to fault is an article about problems with Virtual Eye system.

In football, GoalMinder is system to detect whether a goal has been scored; FIFA want goal line technology to be deployed in future matches, and in the UK the Premier League approved the use of Hawk-eye goal-line technology for the 2013-2014 season. This video shows how the Hawkeye system is set up for a football match.

The video Badminton Hawkeye challenges is a good example of just how hard it can be for a human referee to make accurate judgements in modern sport.

Updated: 2018-03-28
F1 telemetry technology

Sports technology: Motorsport

Formula 1 Technology

F1 Telemetry is a very detailed article about the use of sensors, data logging, and data analysis in Formula 1 racing cars. Technology on Ferrari F1 Cars also has a lot of useful information. Formula 1's IT crowd: Software engineers power Marussia describes the IT systems (hardware and software) that power a typical Formula One team. High-performance computing drives high-performance F1 cars to success describes the hardware required to run a modern F1 team and ties in nicely with the ITGS System Fundamentals section of Strand 3. Can technology take Williams to the front of the F1 grid? examines the use of technology in F1, particularly in terms of reducing costs compared to traditionall development methods.

Formula E Technology

Formula E is a new motorsport involving electric racing cars on city circuits. Although electric cars themselves do not fall under the remit of ITGS, several examples of new information technology are used in the series.

360 degree video technology is being used in the races - move the mouse around while the example video is playing to get a view from the top of the cars.

Formula E also features the unique FanBoost concept, which gives spectators a chance to vote for their favourite drivers and award extra power to their cars during the race. It's an interesting use of social media and surely the first time fans have been able to potentially influence the outcomes of sport in this way.

Updated: 2015-11-14
Olympics technology

Sports technology: IT and the Olympics

The 2012 Olympics were a great opportunity to bring contemporary events into the ITGS classroom. Olympians use information technology more than ever before, for training, performance analysis, and for enforcing rules during the events themselves.

Technology and the 2016 Rio Olympics discusses how the preparations for the 2016 Games are progressing.

Olympic broadcast technology explains how technology is changing the broadcasting of the Olympics.

Updated: 2016-02-27
Digital data preservation

Digital Preservation: Digital data

Unlike books - or anything else before it - digital data changes quickly - very quickly. One negative impact of this is that such data can be lost when it is updated or replaced with new data. Important information such as the public's response to the 2005 London terrorist attacks may be unavailable to future historians if it is not archived in the same way as books and newspapers.

In early 2013 the British Library announced plans to archive billions of British web pages and Tweets to prevent them being lost in this so-called 'digital black hole'.

This is important to ITGS not only because it deals with digital information, but because it links directly with ITGS social and ethical issues such as intellectual property. One difficulty faced when preserving digital data is copy protection mechanisms such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) which can be applied to software, documents and multimedia files. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes it illegal to circumvent such protection mechanisms and was intended to reduce copyright infringement - but can also hinder digital preservation (The Atlantic).

Updated: 2014-11-07
Digital data preservation

Digital Preservation and Restoration: Historic sites and documents

Digital preservation refers to the use of digital technology to prevent the degradation of works of art. Digital restoration involves restoring these works to their original condition. Works might include statues, ancient sites, historical documents and manuscripts, paintings, and even films. This topic has many close links with the digital media topic. 3D printing is often associated with digital preservation, so it is also covered here.

Updated: 2018-03-28
Digital film restoration

Digital Preservation and Restoration: Film

In 2009 NASA restored the Apollo 11 footage of Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin's historic moon landing. The only remaining tapes of the events were copies that were relatively blurry and low quality. NASA lost moon footage, Hollywood restores it (USA Today) explains how this footage was recovered and restored.

Similarly, the seminal 1902 science fiction film A Trip to the Moon was long considered lost, until restorers were able to painstakingly digitally reconstruct the film from several partial copies.

How to Restore a Classic Film Like Jaws for Blu-ray (Article and video) and Emulsional Rescue: The Godfather Restoration Documentary also talk about these processes.

Updated: 2017-07-04
Augmented reality

Augmented Reality resources

The following news articles explain augmented reality technology, its applications, and how it works:
Updated: 2014-11-07
Smart home

Smart Homes resources

The following resources are very useful for studying smart homes (also known as home automation technology):

Of course, as technology becomes ever ubiquitous in the home, privacy and security become increasing concerns. How to hack and crack the connected home, When 'Smart Homes' Get Hacked: I Haunted A Stranger's House Via The Internet, and LG Smart TVs logging USB file names and viewing info to LG servers detail some of these issues.

Smart homes are closely linked to remote patient monitoring projects in the Health chapter.

Updated: 2017-05-03
Computer gaming

Computer gaming addiction resources

The health page has resources relating to game addiction and Internet addiction.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Television broadcasts

Published and broadcast information: Television

Like it or loathe it, the TV show Big Brother draws huge audiences, many of whom are eager to find out more about the show online. Without hefty technology, it couldn't be done. Computer Weekly explains how it is achieved in Claranet cloud powers Channel 5's Big Brother.
Updated: 2014-11-07

Published and broadcast information: Newspapers

Online Paywalls and the Future of Media: A Few Hard Truths and Papers worldwide embrace web subscriptions discuss the increased use of paywalls as news organisations struggle to make money in an online world. Would you pay for online news? discusses the demise of the printed edition of TIME magazine, explains some of the challenges faced by newspapers, and asks whether paywalls will simply push readers to other news sites.

Meanwhile, interactive newsprint may be the future of "printed" news...
Updated: 2014-11-07

Published and broadcast information: Social media and news

This multi-award-winning short film makes a great lesson starter. It imagines how the classic tale The Three Little Pigs might be told in today's modern news and social media. Really smart and fun, it is an excellent resource for generating discussions.

Updated: 2014-11-07
Citizen journalism

Published and broadcast information: Citizen Journalism

One of the most notable examples of citizen journalism is the famous image of US Airways flight 1549 moments after it landed in the Hudson river in January 2009. The image was taken by a Janis Krums, a passenger on a nearby ferry, and quickly spread around the world. Other famous examples include citizen reports on the 2005 terrorist attacks on London transportation systems, with major news organisations featuring eye witness submissions and even video clips from the Underground trains (which professional journalists could not access). The most famous image from these events - that of a number 30 bus moments after a bomb ripped it apart - won the first prize in awards set up by Nokia and the UK Press Gazette.

Citizen journalism also played a major role in the 2011 'Arab spring' uprisings in Syria and Egypt.
Updated: 2014-11-07
King of Kong DVD cover

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Instant Video

Of the three video game playing documentaries here, this is my favourite. King of Kong delves into the VERY strange world of video game world records, which sometime comes across as a soap opera with its "evil" characters and its allegations of cheating and conspiracy. This can be a useful film for discussing video game addiction - some of the scenes where Wiebe continues playing despite his young child needing his help in the background, are quite worrying.
Updated: 2014-11-07
High Score DVD cover

High Score

Amazon.com | Instant Video

Another documentary about video gaming, this time covering the Atari classic Missile Command. Bill Carlton attempts to beat the 20-year old record of 80 million points, by playing a single game lasting over 48 hours. This is interesting (and relatively short) viewing, and opens the door for discussions about video game addiction and related ITGS impacts.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Ectasy of Order DVD cover

Ecstasy Of Order: The Tetris Masters

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Instant Video

Another documentary about video games world records, though the players here come across as slightly more balanced and diverse than those in High Score and The King of Kong. This is a well made documentary and is more accessible than the other two video games documentaries here.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Beyond the Game DVD cover

Beyond the Game


This award-winning documentary focuses on professional video gaming and features several world champion players. We follow Fredrik Johansson and Manuel Schenkhuizen as they compete in various competitions including the World Cyber Games. Unlike some of the other documentaries here, Beyond the Game does not really pass judgment on professional gaming but instead provides a very interesting insight into these young men who dedicate their lives to games-playing.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Second Skin DVD cover

Second Skin


Second Skin follows seven players of Massively Multipler Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) including EverQuest II and World of Warcraft and the effects their gaming has on their personal lives. For some players the online world is a gateway to romance; for others, their unbroken dedication to playing costs them everything. The documentary also features contributions from doctors and members of OLGA (On-Line Gamers Anonymous) - a programme designed to help video game addicts kick their addictions.
Updated: 2014-11-07