Category Interaction Design

World’s First Affordable Multitouch Table Surface?

Behold the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon, a new “table PC” all-in-one steathily introduced at CES (so much so that I missed it completely until just now). The name isn’t much better than “Microsoft PixelSense”, but the pricetag ($1,699) might help it break through where said famously unsuccessful and overpriced ($10,000) multitouch ancestor couldn’t. Size-wise, it’s a lot more portable than some monsters out there, and the design looks pretty appealing in the demo videos. Fingers crossed that this is the one that makes multitouch tables – er, table PCs – more feasible for the masses.

Via Engadget.

Considering Tomorrow’s Interfaces

Connecting (Full Film) from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.

If you spend any time trying to think big thoughts about how to make technology truly meaningful, or even if you just worry your smartphone is slowly taking your place, this is the short documentary for you. From the Vimeo writeup:

The 18 minute "Connecting" documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry's thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming "Internet of things." Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a "super organism" capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.

Via Creator’s Project.

3M’s Monster Touch Table

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is on right now in Las Vegas, with updates from the show floor pouring in from every blog in the universe. New products range from incredibly brilliant to incredibly bizarre, with plenty of incredibly large. One such giant is a touch-table the size of a small bed: 3M’s new 84 inch multitouch unit, with up to 60 simultaneous touch points. Next year: queen size?

See a demo video at Engadget.

Interactive Exhibit Galleries of Pure Color

When Carlos Cruz-Diez began, it wasn’t called “installation art”, but rather the Kinetic Movement. He has been hard at work on his “Chromosaturation” series ever since, with two shows currently in Paris and Mexico. Using only very simply filtered flourescent lights, he changes the entire feeling of a space. Even the color of the visitors themselves changes, as they interact by moving through the zones of red, green and blue.

From designboom:

The chromatic spaces act as detonators to alter the perception of its audience – modifying skin color, clothing and objects – shocking viewers’ retinas from the changing visual saturation as they move from booth to booth. Cruz-Diez experiments with the spectator’s quotidian experience of color, disrupting the way light is processed by the human eye – creating an aesthetic universe that submerges the observer in the artist’s autonomous reality of color, time and space.

Via designboom and others.

“Play Work Build” at NBM

The National Building Museum has launched an an interactive exhibit on the history of building blocks. From the Co.Design article:

This month in Washington D.C., the National Building Museum is staging an exhibition devoted in part to [architect David Rockwell’s] Imagination Playground. Installed in the museum’s wide galleries, Play Work Build chronicles the history of active play in the most appropriate way possible: by asking visitors to actually play the games. A massive series of shelves offers more than 2,300 architectural and construction games, from Froebel Blocks to Tinker Toys. Some of the building games date back to the 1870s.

Echoes of the Past: Digital Cave

Now showing at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan” includes a “digital cave”:

Weaving together archival photographs and current imaging technology, the Digital Cave serves as a virtual reconstruction of the South Cave at Northern Xiangtangshan. This immersive installation allows viewers to experience the site and see sculptures that have been removed from the cave restored within their original setting. The configuration and scale of the three screens are based on the architecture of the South Cave, the latest of the three cave temples of the northern group and one that contains inscriptions dated to 568–572. The South Cave features an open cubical chamber, about ten feet wide by nine feet deep, with curving recesses on the back and side walls that house symmetrical groupings of deities.

Learn more at:

Via James Hicks.

Out of Print

Inexplicably excellent: Out Of Print is a live printing installation that scrambles up Twitter trending topics with an iPad, then sends the results to be letterpress printed. From outofprint on Vimeo, via Creators Project.

Cartier’s Interactive Shop Windows

Just in time for the holidays: designers Zigelbaum + Coelho (and Hypersonic Engineering & Design) create interactive window-dressing for Cartier: passersby wave open jewelry boxes from the sidewalk.

Via Creators Project.

Choose Your Own Adventure: the App

While we’re at it, why not a “choose your own exhibit” app?

Via Co.Design.

A Sound App to Transform Your Environment

Like a lot of people I’m sure, I leave movie theaters with a bit of the film still clinging to me. The better the film, the more I am still in it well after I leave. If I had a free app like this one, I’m sure it would last even longer. And what if we could have an app like this for, well, anything? If there is an app that can make me feel immersed in a film, is there an app that can make me feel immersed in Ming-era China? Or in the world of a documentary film with a social mission?

Via DesignTAXI.

Exhibit Design Bookshelf

A while back I created an exhibit design bookshelf on Shelfari (with the help of then-intern-now-designer Jess Griscti). For years I have collected books on exhibit design, museum planning and interactive space. I have the actual physical bookshelf, with all the actual books, in my office, so I don’t look at the virtual one that often. It’s worth a look. It still needs some categorizing and blurbs, but I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.

Gravity Free

Gravity Free, the “Only Multidisciplinary Design Conference In The World,” takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago. The lineup is great, and I have the, um, challenge of moderating the panel sessions. Wish me luck, and see you there!

Hello World! by Christopher Baker

Hello World!, a video installation by Christopher Baker. Via Designboom, who wrote:

chicago-based visual artist christopher baker’s video installation ‘hello world! or: how i learned to stop listening and love the noise’ is now on display at the duke of york square screening room at london’s saatchi gallery. the artist’s massive video-graphical work consisting of 5,000 video diaries projected upon a wall within the gallery space. the personal video collection of ‘hello world’ was compiled through the use of online self-produced video archive resources such as youtube. … in the gallery space the observer may interact with the soundscape in two distinct ways: he/she may focus in upon an individual voice or get lost in the rumble of the thousands of video diaries on display. in this way, the at-once singular and overwhelming quality to baker’s work is consistent with human sentiment towards the internet and democratic, modern media.

Mogees: Microphone-Based Gestural Interaction

Mogees, an experimental interface design by Bruno Zamborlin and Norbert Schnell, creates a gestural interface out of any hard surface using a simple microphone (attached to something we never quite see in the demo video, but it’s great anyway). Um, yeah, but … huh? In Zamborlin’s words:

Through gesture recognition techniques we detect different kind of fingers-touch and associate them with different sounds. In the video we used two different audio synthesis techniques:
– physic modelling, which consists in generating the sound by simulating physical laws;
– concatenative synthesis (audio mosaicing), in which the sound of the contact microphone is associated with its closest frame present in a sound database.

Riiight. Anyway, it seems like a powerful idea and if it works, expect to see (or hear) more on Mogees.

Via FastCoDesign, TrendHunter, and various other good people.


I hear this project, Lumarca, is better in person than in video, and it’s already pretty good as a video. But how the #@%& does it work with just one projector? Get the soon-to-be-released DIY kit and see for yourself, apparently. From the artists:

Lumarca is a truly volumetric display which allows viewers to see three dimensional images and motion. The system requires only a computer, a projector, and common materials found at most hardware stores. This provides an affordable platform for artists to design compelling content that conveys information, narrative, and aesthetic information in a new way. Lumarca is a collaboration between Albert Hwang, Matt Parker, and Elliot Woods.