Pixelsumo is a blog about interaction, with an emphasis on play, installation, video game culture, playgrounds and toys. Written by Chris O'Shea.
Now the team in Barcelona have turned their research product into a limited run portable consumer item, aimed at musicians who want to use this live, aptly named Reactable Live.
The first 20 units (priced 9700 euros) have gone, but if you are interested you can join the waiting list
What is included
* Reactable Live! Core Component
* Table structure with projection surface
* Set of 25 musical blocks
What you need
* An Intel MacBook Pro or MacBook with a FireWire port
* A VGA or HDMI video adapter
Why do I post this? Well, I find it interesting to see something developing from a research project, into a museum, performance tool for the likes of Bjork, then finally a commercial product that has been well thought out and self contained. These videos show some of the production process, embedded below.
(Photos by: Antimodular Research)
“Solar Equation is a large-scale public art installation that consists of a faithful simulation of the Sun, 100 million times smaller than the real thing. Commissioned by Fed Square specifically for The Light in Winter in Melbourne, the piece features the world’s largest spherical balloon, custom-manufactured for the project.
It is tethered over Federation Square and animated via the use of five projectors. The solar animation on the balloon is generated by live mathematical equations that simulate the turbulence, flares and sunspots that can be seen on the surface of the Sun. This produces a constantly changing display that never repeats itself and gives viewers a glimpse of the majestic phenomena that are observable at the solar surface: these are relatively new discoveries, made possible by recent advances in astronomy.”
Also, “You can control Solar Equation in real time with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad by downloading a free application called Solar Equation from the Apple iTunes Store.”
Switched.com has some interesting insights into the technology behind this…
“As far as the technical achievements of the piece, Lozano-Hemmer and his engineering team had to develop a 3-D tracking system to monitor the position of the balloon, which sways and bobs in the wind. The system tracks the orientation of the balloon 30 times per second, and relays that information back to the projector’s servers so that the animation can be instantaneously corrected. The five high-definition projectors, which with an output of 30,000 lumens are some of the most powerful available, are placed orthogonally around the balloon on the ground; real-time masking prevents the animation from spilling over on to the surrounding buildings.”
“A conceptual study of dynamic and responsive environments, using Ikea as the structural platform. I have modified an Ikea Lack table and an Urban chair to create mobile, wireless robots that can dynamically reconfigure interior space in response to people”.
What if furniture could move around, catering for your every need? What if furniture displayed animal characteristics, perhaps moving away from you as you approach, or getting bored and wandering away?
Video embedded here:
I really like that the shadows are used to reveal hidden worlds, augmented over the existing shadows from light. As you move the light source around, you see the shadow of trees and houses within the blocks. If there is no light near a house, a person comes out to capture the light.
“Augmented Shadow utilizes this unique interface metaphor for interactive storytelling. Maximizing the magical amusement of AR, it is embedding an ecosystem where imaginary objects and organic beings co-exist while each of them influences on each other’s life-cycle, even though it is not in use by users. Light and shadow play critical roles in this world’s functions causing chain reactions between virtual people, trees, birds, and houses as shown below”.
Created using openFrameworks.
Work in progress…
“HYPERSKY is an augmented reality window looking upwards, revealing the current natural conditions and manmade objects zooming through the airspace above the house”.
Created for an entrance in a private residence by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram.
Using a HD video camera, “On any given day the HYPERSKY display shows a live video signal of the sky over the house. Clouds and birds pass by. The sunlight changes”, (shown above).
“At night HYPERSKY automatically switches to a view of the starry sky enveloping the house, though not the actual perceived sky which would be rarely visible due to the lights of the city nearby — rather each planet, star, constellation, globular cluster or galaxy is calculated and drawn in real-time onto the display surface — creating a live map of the true dynamic physical conditions. A radar system picks up the beacons sent out by airplanes, revealing their current position, origin and destination. A satellite tracking system confers with online databases to show the location, speed, altitude and owner of each satellite as it passes by, hundreds of kilometers above.”
“During heavy rain or winds the HYPERSKY automatically switches to abstract displays of the rain drops falling onto a virtual liquid surface or thermodynamic visualization of the wind currents streaming around the house”.
I wish I had that in my house! Would be good to see some video documentation.
I am a very big fan of works like this that bring drawings to life. Another one to check out if you haven’t seen it is Drawn by Zach Lieberman.
In this piece, it uses the metaphor of an old photocopier to bring drawings to life. Take a thick pen and do your drawing. Place it in the photocopier and press scan. A few seconds later, the light coming from the photocopier hitting the ceiling contains your creature moving around with others.
This video shows it in operation.
Its great that it uses a photocopier, as it adds to the magic. Theres no sort of obvious “this is a technology installation” about it, as we are so used to them already. You could put this in schools as a surprise for the young students.
“Inside of the photocopier, there’s a camera, a beamer and pc which runs custom made software that analyses and animates your drawing. The software was written in Java and uses processing by Ben Fry and Casey Reas and JMyron by Josh Nimoy”.
More photos here. Good work Tim.
I have been asked a few times about doing interactive periscopes or telescopes with augmented graphics, and my response is “well, they’ve sort of been done many many times before”. So for research I decided to post up for everyone those that I am aware of.
If you know of any more, please post in the comments.
Parascopes, Unsworn Industries
Three ‘Parascopes‘ created by Unsworn Industries were a way of giving the citizens of Malmö a look into various town plans for reducing car traffic. Rather than viewing plans in the city hall, panoramic images controlled through the periscope enabled users to see the designs in situ, creating a more tangible concept of the future. Other plans included letting people draw their own ideas through the website and vote on them, trying them out on the periscopes. Read full press release.
“When visitors look through a Jurascope, at first they will see the skeletons in the hall. By then turning the Jurascope, they can choose a dinosaur and start the animation: One after the other inner organs, muscles, and skin will appear. The animal is brought to its natural habitat and starts moving, feeding and hunting there. Sounds from the environment and the animal itself contribute to the experience.
The sequence lasts around 30 seconds, then the dinosaur moves back to its former position, freezes and is once more a skeleton in the hall.”
Another by Art+Com is Timescope, using the same hardware as Jurascope, but this time outside, allowing visitors to Berlin to take a trip back in time with historical photos.
“Placed in front of the biggest of the University’s buildings, Argui lets you see not only its facade but what’s going on inside. Cameras that are placed inside each of its rooms give you an insight into the projects exhibited there and make it easier to choose where to go next.”
“The work has 11 terminals arranged around the central atrium of the gallery. Each is equipped with a monitor, a motorised pan-tilt camera and a footpad interface in the floor.
Visitors create avatars which they’re able to fly around the atrium using the the footpad. The camera tracks their position as they fly; crashing into other avatars, learning new moves and collaborating together to attain perfect grace.
By holding on to other avatars, visitors can stay in the air for longer, mutating with the avatars they hold on to. As the game progresses, visitors become hybridised: from a group of individual and separate bodies emerges a social body in which everyone’s form and identity is partly moulded by those around them.”
Rear Window, Jon Friis & Michael Lawrie
Rear Window, by Mike Lawrie and Jon Friis, is a “contemporary re-imagining of the 1954 Hitchcock film of the same name, which centres on the symbolic relationship of audience and screen that the protagonist has with the neighbouring apartment block.
The installation takes the form of a telescope, placed in a location with a suitable view. To the user it appears to be an ordinary telescope. However, the image seen through the eyepiece does not wholly coincide with what is seen by the naked eye. Utilizing augmented reality techniques, portions of the image are replaced. The windows of neighbouring buildings become silver screens presenting clips of classic Hollywood footage which utilize the Rear Window cliché.”
Rather than a single installation, the xc-01 has been created by Didier Stricker at the Augmented Vision department of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence to sell as a product for these situations.
“To create applications for the xc-01 we developed a visual drag’n drop editor. With this tool one can join different media to an Augmented Reality application. Different objects and functionalities of a palette are just dropped on the scene and positioned.”
“The vandalism-proof case of the xc-01 contains a high-resolution camera, a high-contrast lcd-display, a precise hardware tracking system, an air condition for outdoor use and a coin detector.”
OBSERVATORIO, 2008 – Clara Boj y Diego Díaz
Drift, Alex Davies & Daniel Heckenberg.
Subversive Sightseeing, Tim Simpson
(via @pixelfrenzy on twitter)
Subversive Sightseeing by Tim Simpson is a “coin-operated, tourist telescope but through it you see a film of an unravelling sequence of epic catastrophes. In the distance a crane collapses, a mushroom cloud appears on the horizon, and a capsule on the London Eye dangles precariously over the Thames”.
BMW Focus on Joy, MESO
(via Christoph in the comments)
Created by MESO for BMW…
“Originally developed for the BMW show in Hall 11 at the IAA in Frankfurt, MESO developed software and graphics for 10 electronic telescopes. At one of the ten rotating telescopes, positioned around the BMW show, the visitor can see the real image of the automobiles around him and an additional virtual layer giving further information about the specifics of the car.”
Virtual Sightseeing, YDreams
(via @PauloMoreira on twitter)
Posted May 17th 2010 under Ars Electronica
As per last year, Here are the winners and selection for the Interactive Arts category at Prix Ars Electronica 2010 just announced.
A big congratulations to the Eyewriter team, a very excellent project & much deserved win.
I am very happy that my Hand from Above has received an honorary mention.
The EyeWriter / Zach Lieberman (US), James Powderly (US), Tony Quan (US), Evan Roth (US), Chris Sugrue (US) and Theo Watson (UK)
“Inspired by the life of Tony Quan, a graffiti artist who was diagnosed with the degenerative nerve disorder ALS in 2003, Zach Lieberman, James Powderly, Evan Roth, Chris Sugure and Theo Watson developed “EyeWriter.” A reasonably-priced eye tracking system and the software that runs it make it possible to draw on a computer screen just by moving ones eyes. This gives people who have contracted a neuromuscular disease—some of whom are completely paralyzed—a way to express their creativity in spite of their condition. A making of feature about EyeWriter is online at vimeo“.
Awards of Distinction
Chorus / United Visual Artists (UK)
“Chorus” is a sound & light performance that is intensely physical and fleeting at the same time. Pendulums hanging from the installation space’s ceiling glow and emit noises as they swing back and forth, producing arcs of white light and strange sounds.
Talking Doors / Julijonas Urbonas (LT)
In 2009, five doors to well-known public buildings in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were transformed into interactive installations. Equipped with electronic devices, the doors became a portal to Lithuania’s Democracy Index, a musical instrument, a kinetic sculpture and even the source of an earthquake. “Talking Doors” ultimately proved to be not only the materialization of symbolic concepts but also a peculiar experiment that evoked a whole series of curious events.
Buscando al Sr. Goodbar / Michelle Teran (CA)
(no urls available. anyone?)
i3DG / Jitsuro Mase , Tom Nagae (JP) / DIRECTIONS, Inc.
TaxiLink / Lila Chitayat, Alon Chitayat, Tal Chalosin (IL)
HOME / Hee-Seon Kim (KR)
Mobile Crash / Lucas Bambozzi (BR) with the kind help from Paloma Oliveira, Rocardo Palmieri, Roger Sodré and Lucas Gervilla
Tischgeflüster — Whispering Table / TheGreenEyl 2009 (Willy Sengewald, Dominik Schumacher, Gunnar Green (DE), Frédéric Eyl (FR))
Back in August 2005 I wrote about Printball by Benjamin Gaulon, a machine that ‘prints’ dot images on walls using a computer controlled paintball gun.
This video shows what happens when Nvidia give money to Mythbusters to make a hyper version of a paintball printer in 2009.
Recently I saw the Facadeprinter (shown below), created by Berlin based design group Sonice Development GmbH, consisting of Martin Fussenegger, Michael Sebastian Haas and Julian Adenauer.
“The Facadeprinter is a simple, software controlled robot. It consists of a two axis turn table and an airpressure printhead. The printer shoots the artwork from a distanced position dot by dot onto the chosen area.”
According to their history page, the project started out in 2004 as a project in their studies at HfG Karlsruhe. So lets just agree that great minds think alike.
What the guys have done with this is create a really great packaged ‘product’. Something that is portable and easy to use…
“The printer is equipped with an industrial PC which is running the specially programmed printing software. The machine is operated by touchscreen. Artworks can be loaded from USB-devices in the file format SVG. With an integrated camera photos of the printing area can be taken and overlayered with a printing preview. This way position and scaling can be adjusted optimally on site. The distance to the wall is measured by infrared-meter and entered manually. The printing software calculates the driving coordinates regarding both the perspective and the ballistic distortion. ”
Right now for events and live events, but could work for crisis situations, as shown in this concept, highlighting aid or fresh water areas in earthquake hit towns.
Nice work guys.
Curious Displays is the thesis project of Julia Yu Tsao (Sept 2009), a concept that explores our future relationship with displays in the home. What if our display was ‘alive’, like little swarming bugs? What if your nano display was intelligent, connected to objects in your house and your communications?
“Curious Displays is a product proposal for a new platform for display technology. Instead of a fixed form factor screen, the display surface is instead broken up into hundreds of ½ inch display blocks. Each block operates independently as a self-contained unit, and has full mobility, allowing movement across any physical surface. The blocks operate independently of one another, but are aware of the position and role relative to the rest of the system. With this awareness, the blocks are able to coordinate with the other blocks to reconfigure their positioning to form larger display surfaces and forms depending on purpose and function.”
Of course it would get very annoying if you are watching Finding Nemo and it starts running around the room, but the project shows a different approach to ambient displays ubiquitous computing. The production of this concept, (animation by shadedbox, sound Jason Chung), is done to a high standard, making these tiny displays feel alive.
So how would we control these displays of the future? Tsao suggests:
“The user would need control of not just the usual channels and volume, but movement, functionality, and behavior, as well. What types of buttons would we have to have for the system? Would there be an array of buttons for different shapes and aspect ratios? For different types of functionality? For different display personalities, even? ”
Tired of these little guys following you around all day, demanding your attention? Then whack the kill switch in your back pocket.