Assignment 3: New Interactions

by Haig. Average Reading Time: about a minute.

Critiques on December 16, 2011.
This project is concerned with creating a system that responds to signals or information interactively, in real-time. It’s anticipated that your system will responds to signals from a human user/visitor/player/interactant. For example, you might make a tool, an instrument, a game, a toy, or some other kind of responsive experiential system. For this assignment, your system will probably respond to a camera of some kind.
Developing an interactive system will ask you to think about augmenting human experience through an exploration of interactive feedback in the context of a user’s high-bandwidth, continuous and real-time signals — whether intentional or inadvertent; gestural or spoken; or based on any other measurable property or behavior. You might develop, e.g. a gesture processor, a drawing program, a transformative mirror, an audiovisual instrument, or some other system which allows a participant to experience themselves and the world in a new way.

In the past two months, the space of interactive experiences has been blown wide open by the introduction of the Microsoft Kinect depth camera. Open-source toolkits for most arts-engineering environments (openFrameworks, Processing, Max/MSP, OSC) are now freely available. We have been fortunate to secure 12 Kinect cameras through a small grant from the CMU Computational Thinking Center. I will loan these dozen cameras to 2-person teams that don’t already own their own device. Although using the Kinect is not a requirement for the assignment, this is a great opportunity to work in a wide-open space.

Please give some consideration to the potential of your software to operate as a cultural artifact. Can it attain special relevance by responding in ways which address a real human need or interest?

See Kinect Inspirations

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