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?