Category Archives: Augmented & Virtual Reality

Miguel Chevalier “Magic Carpets 2016”

Magic Carpets 2016

Mag­ic Car­pets 2016 is a giant lumi­nous car­pet pro­ject­ed on the floor inside of the MK Cen­ter. This car­pet is made of dif­fer­ent vir­tu­al and mul­ti­col­ore graph­ic scenes inspired by emblem­at­ic forms asso­ci­at­ed to urban land­scapes in Mil­ton Keynes which are very con­struc­tivist. The art­work ben­e­fi­ci­ates of a musi­cal dis­play spe­cial­ly cre­at­ed for the instal­la­tion and com­posed by Ray Lee. The tech­ni­cal pro­duc­tion is by French firm Vox­els Pro­duc­tions.

The vis­i­tors will be able to car­ry small alu­mini­um spheres gen­er­at­ing the music.  By using pres­ence sen­sors the instal­la­tion is inter­ac­tive — in a visu­al way this flu­ent uni­verse is impact­ed by the vis­i­tors’ move­ments.

The moves mod­i­fy the ele­ments’ tra­jec­to­ry under the feet draw­ing a new com­po­si­tion which remains stun­ning.  Like a giant kalei­do­scope the spec­ta­tor is immersed in a world of col­ors, mov­ing forms and trav­els into an imag­i­nary and poet­ic game of opti­cal illu­sions.

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Can Buyukberber - Tool

Can Buyukberber: Physics + Visuals

Most recent­ly known for his live Tool visu­als, Can Buyuk­ber­ber is an inde­pen­dent visu­al artist & direc­tor spe­cial­is­ing in audio/visual per­for­mance, dig­i­tal visu­al arts and motion graph­ics design. He stud­ied Physics and Visu­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Design in Istan­bul, Turkey. Cur­rent­ly study­ing at San Fran­cis­co Art Insti­tute’s Art and Tech­nol­o­gy MFA pro­gram as a Ful­bright Grantee and work­ing on immer­sive expe­ri­ences using sound, light and space.

His works have been exhib­it­ed in Europe and North­ern Amer­i­ca includ­ing large scale a/v projects at Sig­nal Light Fes­ti­val (CZ), Inter­na­tion­al Dig­i­tal Arts Bien­ni­al (CAN), IX Immer­sion Expe­ri­ence Sym­po­sium (CAN), Cur­rents New Media Fes­ti­val (US). He is inter­est­ed in trans­lat­ing obser­va­tions and insights on the imma­nent intel­li­gence of nature, self-organ­is­ing sys­tems, for­ma­tions in time and pat­terns of the invis­i­ble space between the objects into vis­i­ble, audi­ble, tan­gi­ble expres­sions.


McTrax: A Paper Placemat Music Production Studio

McDonald’s McTrax: Play the Placemat

Cre­at­ing music can real­ly trig­ger cre­ativ­i­ty in (young) peo­ple. That’s why McDonald’s in the Nether­lands intro­duced McTrax: a paper place­mat turned into a full music pro­duc­tion sta­tion.

By the use of con­duc­tive ink on a piece of paper you can con­nect your smart­phone to the place­mat via Blue­tooth.


The "Maschinenmensch" or machine-human (from Fritz Lang's Metropolis)

VR Storytelling as “Audience Experience”

To explore the audience’s expe­ri­ence in VR, Karin Soukup and Alexan­dra Gar­cia part­nered with Stanford’s Media Exper­i­ments, the Nation­al Film Board of Cana­da, and inde­pen­dent film­mak­er Pais­ley Smith.

Using low-res­o­lu­tion “expe­ri­ence pro­to­typ­ing” and exten­sive­ly test­ing three basic sce­nar­ios, they attempt to deter­mine the role of agency in VR sto­ry­telling. In doing so, they con­struct what may be VR’s first for­mal dis­ci­pline — “Audi­ence Expe­ri­ence” (AX).

Their top five take­aways:

  1. Real­i­ty is con­struct­ed (once the audi­ence pokes a hole in real­i­ty, they have already fall­en through it)
  2. Hav­ing a body means being some­body (there is no such thing as a neu­tral observ­er)
  3. Look­ing is doing (for bet­ter or worse, the audi­ence directs their own gaze)
  4. 360° is less than 180° (the more there is to see, the less the audi­ence remem­bers)
  5. 360° is more than full cir­cle (the more com­plete the envi­ron­ment, the more it res­onates)

Their con­clu­sion? VR sto­ry­tellers should be “mata­dors”, mov­ing away from direc­tor towards influ­encer – wav­ing the red cape to show users where to look. To do this effec­tive­ly, we need to know their emo­tion­al, cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal expe­ri­ence: hence the focus on audi­ence expe­ri­ence.


Eric Prydz - Hologram

Eric Prydz — EPIC 4.0 Tour Visuals

Com­ing off the very suc­cess­ful cam­paign for Eric Pry­dz’s Gen­er­ate music video, our friend Michael Ser­shall hired the team back to design the visu­als for his EPIC 4.0 tour. The set­up for the live show was fair­ly insane, with con­tent screen form­ing a cube with a 28mm see-through LED in front, a Holo Gauze through the mid­dle for a mes­mer­iz­ing holo­gram pro­jec­tion, and final­ly a 12mm 4:1 wide-screen LED in the back enclos­ing the cube and play­ing back the key con­tent.

For the gig, Munkowitz tapped his favorite col­lab­o­ra­tors, the great Conor Grebel and Michael Rigley, both ridicu­lous­ly tal­ent­ed Cinema4D Artists and Ani­ma­tors, who brought their A‑Game for this throw­down. All the con­tent was ren­dered with the amaz­ing Octane Ren­der­er which meant the team bought two super­Com­put­ers and a fuck­Load of graph­ics cards to ren­der all the wet­ness. In the end, the project was about mak­ing art for enter­tain­ment, and these kinds of pay­ing gigs are what we love.

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Transhumanism & Biohacking

Wear­able tech­nol­o­gy has tak­en the next log­i­cal step — implants.

From LEDs to NFCs and RFIDs, con­sumers are look­ing at ways of apply­ing med­ical approach­es to implant con­sumer-grade tech­nol­o­gy. So-called Grind­house Wet­ware (or “Grinders”) view this as next lev­el body aug­men­ta­tion (i.e. pierc­ings on steroids), and with the Mak­er rev­o­lu­tion you can now cheer­ful­ly implant this tech­nol­o­gy your­self at home. You can already buy an all-in-one syringe kit (based on ani­mal LifeChip transpon­ders — for when your cat or dog goes miss­ing).

Body­hack­ing — turn­ing your­self into a cyborg — also includes enhance­ments to exist­ing sens­es (such as infra-red eye­sight) or cre­at­ing new sens­es (such as sens­ing mag­net­ic north or radio fre­quen­cies). A lot of this tech­nol­o­gy was ini­tial­ly devel­oped for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties or impair­ments (such as cochlear implants for the deaf, and reti­na implants for the blind). Arti­fi­cial hearts and pace­mak­ers could be seen as the ances­tors of embed­ded tech.

It’s only a mat­ter of time before you’ll be able to swipe your Oys­ter card with your wrist. Nev­er for­get your keys again!

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Werner Herzog Talks Virtual Reality

“I am con­vinced that this is not going to be an exten­sion of cin­e­ma or 3‑D cin­e­ma or video games. It is some­thing new, dif­fer­ent, and not expe­ri­enced yet,” the film­mak­er Wern­er Her­zog said of vir­tu­al real­i­ty. An inter­view by Patrick House with the film­mak­er about sim­u­la­tion and expe­ri­ence.


ACPAD — the wireless electronic orchestra for your guitar

ACPAD is the world’s first wire­less MIDI con­troller for acoustic gui­tar. Play thou­sands of instru­ments, trig­ger unlim­it­ed sound sam­ples and effects, live record loops… with­out tak­ing your hand off your gui­tar!

  • 8x Touch Pads: ACPAD has eight pres­sure sen­si­tive touch pads that can be assigned to any MIDI intru­ment, Sound effect or sam­ple that you can imag­ine
  • 10x Pre­set But­tons: You can also cus­tomize and save up to 25 pre­sets for quick access dur­ing and between songs
  • 2x Loop­er Chan­nels: There are two loop­er chan­nels that you can use to live record, trig­ger or stop loops from your gui­tar
  • 2x Slid­er Faders: ACPAD also has two slid­ers to mod­u­late the inten­si­ty of your sounds and effects while play­ing.


A Raspberry Pi powered Magic Mirror


Blog­ger Dylan Pierce decid­ed he want­ed to give some­one the gift of a smart mir­ror. He went with an afford­able, DIY approach and with just a lit­tle bit of cod­ing and some inge­nu­ity, he was able to make a mir­ror that’s got peo­ple like me drool­ing all over it. Here’s how he did it.


Capacitive Touch HAT for Raspberry Pi


Capac­i­tive touch sens­ing used for stuff like touch-reac­tive tablets and phones, as well as con­trol pan­els for appli­ances (which is where you may have used it before). This HAT allows you to cre­ate elec­tron­ics that can react to human touch, with up to 12 indi­vid­ual sen­sors.

The main dif­fer­ence between this and some­thing like the Makey Makey board is that there is no need for a ground wire.


Light Painting Enters The 21st Century

The Air Pen­cil from Adtile lets any­one cap­ture freeform move­ment in space using their mobile device. Air Pen­cil taps into a smartphone’s native micro-elec­tro-mechan­i­cal sys­tems (MEMS) — name­ly the three-axis mag­ne­tome­ter, three-axis accelerom­e­ter and three-axis gyro­scope. It then calls on sophis­ti­cat­ed Adtile-designed algo­rithms to reli­ably infer the pre­cise move­ments of the user based on sen­sor data.


Lightpainting with Pixelsticks

Pix­el­stick con­sists of 200 full col­or RGB LEDs inside a light­weight alu­minum hous­ing. The mount­ed con­troller reads images from an SD card and dis­plays them, one ver­ti­cal line at a time, on the LEDs. Each LED cor­re­sponds to a pix­el in the image.


3D Projection (without a screen)

A team of researchers in Japan lead by Aki­ra Asanohave devel­oped the tech­nol­o­gy they call ‘The Aer­i­al Bur­ton.’ The device works by fir­ing a 1kHz infrared pulse direct­ly into a 3D scan­ner, which focus­es and reflects the laser to a spe­cif­ic point in the air. When the mol­e­cules reach the spec­i­fied point at the end of the laser they ion­ize, releas­ing ener­gy in the form of pho­tons.


Brain decoding: Reading minds

Neu­ro­sci­en­tists are start­ing to deci­pher what a per­son is see­ing, remem­ber­ing and even dream­ing just by look­ing at their brain activ­i­ty. They call it brain decod­ing.

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GE — Olympic Visualizations

With the 2012 Lon­don Sum­mer Olympics just around the cor­ner, the incred­i­ble Jake Sargeant (House MD open­ing titles, Ter­mi­na­tor Sal­va­tion, TRON Lega­cy, & Obliv­ion) was approached by Moth­er­ship and direc­tor David Rosen­baum to throw down some data visu­al­iza­tions for some poten­tial GE Olympic spots.

Although these visu­al­iza­tions were meant to com­ple­ment high speed footage for present day com­mer­cial spots, this is a taste of what I hope we’ll see in the Olympics of the future real-time data visu­al­iza­tions that ana­lyze an athlete’s move­ment cap­tured in slow motion. Here’s to the future.



The mighty Joseph Kosin­s­ki invit­ed Munkowitz to the GFX par­ty once again, this time for his spring block­buster fea­ture film OBLIVION.

One of the most wide­ly seen Graph­ic ele­ments was Vika’s Light Table, which allowed her to guide Jack Harp­er through his tasks as a Drone repair man in the field of duty. The table itself was built prac­ti­cal­ly, so most of the visu­als were cap­tured in-cam­era, lend­ing a beau­ti­ful opti­cal touch to the design.

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Coca-Cola’s “Small World Machines”

Peo­ple from both coun­tries who engaged with the screens were encour­aged to com­plete a friend­ly task togeth­er such as wave, touch hands, draw a peace sign or dance before they shared a Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola recent­ly put dig­i­tal sig­nage-enabled and con­nect­ed vend­ing kiosks in two pop­u­lar shop­ping malls in Lahore (Pak­istan) and New Del­hi (India), hos­tile neigh­bors with sim­mer­ing resent­ments that once were part of the same nation.

Of course we know that The Coca-Cola Com­pa­ny is real­ly a heart­less cor­po­rate behe­moth, try­ing to win mar­ket share by win­ning the hearts and minds of the peo­ple.

Sure, it’s a lit­tle (ok, per­haps over­ly) sweet, but a step in the right direc­tion. Per­haps next we’ll have coke-spon­sored NGO ini­tia­tives?