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.


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?