Susan Lin – Looking Outwards – 5: Interact Project Inspiration

by susanlin @ 5:24 pm 1 February 2011

Primer For my own project, I am interested in the idea of augmenting a live feed of yourself into a different you. To start, I wanted to search for existing projects which already do this.
More on this later in the napkin sketch post,
but I am fond of this idea because it is a prevalent experience in games and because there is obvious appeal to escape through an alternative ego. (How people did you see make themselves a Scott Pilgrim or Madmen avatar?)

Update From class today, it seems like the avatar notion is well explored. Shifting focuses…

Also, this is just a photograph series, but has some applicable potential:

1 | Embody an Avatar (Second Life)

Exactly what it sounds like: this project uses the Kinect in order to take movements in from people to control a 3d second life avatar. The avatar mimics what the user does. Additionally, some gestures also work as camera controls.
The movements are still limited as the motions are mostly done with the upper-body in this demo. Jumping is not actually done by jumping, but by raising the hands up as if you were jumping. Rigging up a 3d model isn’t easy and probably is a bit out of scope for a 2 week project. However, the idea of controlling an alternative self has obvious appeal here.

2 | Body Painter

Body Painter — Kinect in Quartz Composer from resprung on Vimeo.

Paint with rainbow, drippy brush on a canvas via body gestures. The brush maps to one of the users hands and follows it around.
The kick for paintbomb is a nice bonus. This adds on nicely to the idea of “alternative universe” because it empowers the user to control the brush.
Most of the body is not involved in this project (only one hand and the feet when kicking). The brush options are also limited to that one brush. The critique ultimately being, this project could have so much more capabilities.

3 | Imaginary Animals

imaginary animals from phil archer on Vimeo.

A non-Kinect project. This installation leverages the mobile phone’s sensitivity to infrared light (which we cannot see with the naked eye) to reveal medieval beasts.
This is inspiring because it is a (relatively) simple hack using a device most have now and it’s done well. The discovery process is very nice, but I find that the display is too static. If the display was more animated or had another level of interaction, I think it would make the imaginary animals more alluring. For example: Maybe hiding the animals in a larger canvas and then giving the user the ability to interact with them as a reward.

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