The MIDAS Project is a synesthetic exploration of traditional artistic performance and digital art. It devises an interactive projection mapped space for the creative arts. Using the latest tracking technology, the space learns and reacts to performance, allowing the artist to explore new improvised choreography live and in time. The team worked in tandem with dancer Tom O’Donnell. Given a narrative revolving around man’s ever-changing relationship with technology; the movements challenge assumptions within performance and the evolving role of the performer within art.
Here’s the promo video for the project:
An interactive projection mapped project, MIDASpaces employs a combination of light projection, sound and camera tracking to add a digital dimension to the creative arts in a real world space. The project made use of custom software written in openFrameworks (C++) running in conjunction with QuartzComposer (openGL) to create the visuals.
The programs were then controlled by Ableton Live and manipulated within VDMX and MadMapper. Readily available technologies such as Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s Playstation 3 Eye were customized to allow for audio and visual reactive controls.
Here you can see the full performance:
Project website: http://midaspaces.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MIDASpaces
This is another experiment from The Fun Theory initiative by Volkswagen. Can we get more people to throw trash into the bin, rather than onto the ground, by making it fun to do? The fun theory explores whether or not fun can change behavior for the better. The results are really cool and it makes us want to inject a bit more fun into everything we design.
Industrial robots are inherently bad ass. But when programmed as part of a work of art, they become magical.
“Box” is a live performance mixing robotics, computer graphics and choreography. It explores the synthesis of the real and digital spaces through projection mapping and moving surfaces.
With a nod to Arthur C. Clarke, San Francisco design and engineering firm Bot & Dolly understands this concept well. It spent two years working on “Box,” a five-minute film that explores the nexus of man, machine, and art. This film employs projection-mapping techniques, a human actor, and several large robotic arms to spectacular effect.
In the video below, you’ll see two robots wielding flat-panel displays that also serve as projection screens for high-res computer graphics. Meanwhile, an actor interacts with the screens as they go through a dizzying series of motions and tricks, both graphically and physically.
No doubt it will inspire creative minds working in different industries.
Playtabase is a company that is focusing on improving quality of life in the home, with its home automation system controlled by a bracelet — Reemo — that was designed to empower the elderly and chronically ill, but is likely to have equal appeal to a consumer market. Reemo works a little like a computer mouse for the home, based upon the idea of the Internet of Things. Through a series of gestures, it allows wearers to interact with everything from lights, to televisions, to alarm clocks. It can even be used to guide a cursor across a screen like an actual desktop mouse. Though this is clearly not its best scenario, it could enable disabled folks to interact with things they could no longer interact with.
The bracelet works with basic point gestures and has been designed with very high levels of accuracy in order to be able to distinguish between objects in close proximity to one another. It communicates with a box that talks to retrofitted controls around the home. The prototype we saw was a band that can be easily taken on and off without demanding a high level of dexterity. The final product will have a magnetic clasp to stop it jiggling around too much and keep the level of accuracy high.
Reemo has been beta tested in homes for the elderly, and is due to be launched in the US at Solidcon in May. The developers are working on producing an API, which would take the Reemo to the next level.
Official website: http://www.getreemo.com/
Gifts and keepsakes allow us to remember friends and loved ones when we travel or move to far away places. The whiSpiral is a new kind of keepsake that explores how technology can enhance the way garments and accessories evoke memories of these relationships.
Circuitry integrated directly in the textile allows your friends to record short audio messages at different points in a spiral-shaped shawl. These messages are whispered back each time you wrap the shawl around yourself, or by caressing different parts of the fabric.
The whiSpiral is inspired by the power of a simple human voice to evoke rich memories of a person or relationship, and by the power of a whisper as a medium of intimacy. The whiSpiral is a new kind of keepsake that allows the simple intimacy of a whisper to be carried in a garment that you can wrap around you, take everywhere, and keep for all time.
A project by Media Lab Europe, European research partner of the MIT Media Lab.
Project page: http://web.media.mit.edu/~stefan/hc/projects/whispiral/
Rain Drum is an innovative idea from designer Dong Min Park where falling rain drops make different sounds depending where it hits the umbrella. To make the sounds possible, it consists of five different sized wax-cloth made ‘shades’, with different elasticities. And depending on the elasticity and size of the ‘shades’, the frequency of sound emitted differs accordingly. Each area of this umbrella creates a different drum sound, making for a very unique sensory experience as you’re battling to stay dry.
If everyone walked around Seattle with one of these, the streets would be filed with music.
The Fun Theory is an initiative by Volkswagen that is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.
The Fun Theory is represented through a series of projects, one of them being the Piano Staircase. “Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better” is something we often hear or read in the Sunday papers. Few people actually follow that advice.
Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do?