For his thesis project in “Interface Culture” at the University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz, designer Javier Lloret converted the entire facade of the Ars Electronica building in Linz, Austria into an interactive Rubik’s Cube called Puzzle Facade. Lloret created a handheld device the mimics the function of the ubiquitous puzzle toy which then wirelessly communicates with a computer that controls the network of lights installed on the building. From his website:
In Puzzle Facade the player interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. The interface-cube holds electronic components inside that allow for it keep track of its orientation and the rotations of each side of the cube. This data is sent over Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Due to the nature of this building and its surroundings, the player is only able to see two sides at the same time. This factor increases the difficulty of solving the puzzle, but as the player is able to rotate and flip the interface-cube, it is not a blocking factor.
Although Lloret was the primary designer for the project he relied on a huge team of people to realize the idea. You can learn much more here. (via Vimeo)
Created by the team at Ogilvy 12th Floor for British Airways, these awesome billboards installed in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick interactively display information about the flight that appears immediately overhead. Using custom-built surveillance technology the billboards display the flight number and route information in sync with a recorded video of a child who appears to be pointing at each plane as it soars above. Pretty fun. (via PSFK)
While it’s debatable whether we’ll ever be able to teleport objects or people around the world at the speed of light, the inFORM system from Tangible Media Group at MIT might be the seeds of the next best thing. inFORM facilitates the real-time movement of physical “pixels” on a table surface that move in accordance with data from a Kinect motion sensing input device. The system allows people to remotely manipulate objects from a distance, physically interact with data or temporary objects, and could open the door to a wide variety of gaming, medical, or other interactive scenarios where people might be in remote locations.
One can only imagine the possibilities as the resolution of such a device increases. As mind-blowing as the video is above, the inFORM demonstrated has a relatively low resolution of 30×30 resulting in 900 moving “pixels”. As technology allows, what happens if the resolution doubles or quadruples and 3D content begins to appear exponentially more lifelike.
Little Robot Friends from Toronto-based Aesthetec Studio are a series of tiny robots that can listen, sense light, detect touch, and communicate using infrared light. Each robot is mounted on a CNC milled wood base and is embedded with a “brain” consisting of an 8-bit 32K microcontroller that provides space for coding behaviours or storing memories. If that’s not enough you can plug the robots into your computer to programmatically control its behavior, which evolves organically as it interacts with you and other Little Robot Friends. The project is currently going gangbusters over on Kickstarter.
Conceptual artist Lisa Park has been experimenting with a specialized device called a NeuroSky EEG headset that helps transform brain activity into streams of data that can be manipulated for the purposes of research, or in this case, a Fluxus-inspired performance art piece titled Euonia (Greek for “beautiful thought”). Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta, theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various patterns in accordance with her brain activity.
While the system is not an exact science, Park rehearsed for nearly a month by thinking about specific people whom she had strong emotional reactions to. The artist then correlated each of the five speakers with certain emotions: sadness, anger, hatred, desire, and happiness. According to the Creator’s Project her hope had been to achieve a sort of zen-like state resulting in complete silence, however it proved to be ultimately unattainable, a result that is actually somewhat poetic.
Laser Forest is the lastest creation from a creative studio known as Marshmallow Laser Feast comprised of Memo Akten, Robin McNicholas, and Barney Steel who have focused almost exclusively on creating interactive experiences over the past two years. This latest installation involves a forest of 150 interactive rods installed in an empty factory space that when touched trigger both light and audio cues, effectively creating a large interactive instrument. Laser Forest was commission for the STRP Biennale in Eindhoven last month, and you can learn much more about at the Creators Project.
FLUIDIC is the result of a unique collaboration between Hyundai’s Advanced Design Center and Berlin-based studio WHITEvoid. The interactive light sculpture is made from 12,000 suspended spheres that act as three dimensional pixels, or voxels. Surrounded by 3D cameras the piece can sense viewer’s motions which are then translated into light patterns, but amazingly the light supplied to the individual voxels is fully external. An array of high-speed lasers project into the cloud to create the dynamic visuals in real-time. Via WHITEvoid:
A seemingly floating point cloud above a water pond and consisting of 12,000 translucent spheres marks the heart of the installation. Due to a complex computer algorithm the spheres are arranged seemingly random within the cloud. At the same time the algorithm observes the positions and projection angles of eight high-speed laser projectors that are being arranged around the artwork. They are sending out beams scanning through the arrangement of the cloud. Generating bright and dim light points, this creates a highly organic and natural distribution of voxels (3D pixels). Emerging lines and shapes finally form graphical compositions without any sweet or blind spots. Keeping the same density and intensity the FLUIDIC graphics enables their viewers to observe and interact with it from every point of view.
If you liked this project, there are several other artists working with interactive light fields lately, many of which have appeared here on Colossal including the flexible Firewall, the Water Light Graffiti system and also Submergence.
The Re: Sound Bottle is the audio equivalent of running around in a field in the summer collecting fireflies in a jar. Designed by Jun Fujiwara from Tama Art University, the bottle is simple in its usage but absurdly complex in its design which relies heavily on software to handle the recording, storing, and playback of audio tracks. To use it you simply uncork the device and if sound is present it immediately snaps into recording mode. As you record more individual sounds, an audio database is formed and tracks are automatically selected to create rhythmic tracks, essentially like a miniature robot DJ in a jar. To listen, you again uncork the top and wait for your personal soundtrack to play. Jun says he hopes the Re: Sound Bottle (still just a concept) will help people interact more directly with music by recording the audio from their daily life. The bottle won a special judge’s prize at the 2012 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards earlier this year. (via jason sondhi)