This is a video of my "Cosmic Hand Dance Actualization Machine" that I designed and built as my final project for my Introduction to Physical Computing class for the fall semester of 2008.
I would call this particular piece of technology a volumetric interface and projection surface and alternately an example of interactive, meditative, video sculpture.
In building this object I used as my theoretical foundation a practice called "glowsticking" that exists predominantly in rave and underground electronic music culture. Glowstickers, at least the talented ones, have cultivated the unique ability to twirl their glowsticks in mid-air and actually generate continuous, dynamic, 3D imagery in space. This is then observed by other party-goers whom might be near them. It usually happens spontaneously on the dance floor as opposed to being strictly a performance activity.
I was interested in this phenomenon as I am interested in the therapeutic and meditative benefits of observing "psychedelic" imagery. I am also interested in the possibilities opened by giving the user an interactive role in generating the imagery personally not to mention the freedom to do that by gesturing freely in open space.
This projects began as an effort to create a semi-3D interactive controller and became a much larger endeavor that encompassed animation, programming, video mapping and interface engineering. The construction consists of a diffusion-coated, plastic hemisphere, an array of infrared proximity sensors, an Arduino Diecimilla board with serial communication to a Processing sketch.
In the future I plan on expanding on this project with larger volumes and unique projection surfaces, more dynamic graphics and sound generation and a much more modular and portable construction.
Please keep an eye out for future projects.