photo by .:9:.
With just a couple days until the launch of the interactive installation in Downtown Portland I’ve been going mad tweaking code and functionality to run motion detection in rain, darkness and direct sunlight, with multiple object motion distractions such as pedestrians, bikers, segways and automobile headlights stopped at the traffic light precariously located directly in front of the installation camera. Simultaneously we’ve been crazy busy setting up the environment. Designing and developing the application for motion detection has kept me busy enough and has been an awesome learning experience using Flash as an interactive installation platform.
What I’ve underestimated are the challenges and learning curve associated with the industrial design end of the project. The challenges the environment has placed on us have been many. I’ve mentioned the lighting situation and the application challenges of varying weather, lighting and motion objects. There have also been other challenges such as getting the lens and projector right to cover the entire store front window from an elevation, keystoning [ keystonery? keystoningness? ] focal and clarity perspective. Properly aligning the webcam for best motion detection and display results within the application. [ viewers will be video overlayed in the application ].
Sewing together multiple tarps and hanging them one story above the installation to block out extraneous light that would dull the projection. Major issues with using an AT&T 3G card for connectivity in the absence of any wifi. [ the application takes a snapshot and posts the image to a private flickr account every 10 minutes so I can ensure the app. is up and running ]. Dealing with not being able to use an internal monitor while running the app with the projector. Adhering the specialized light sensitive acrylic pieces properly into each of the six window frames. The list goes on and is still mounting.
All this said, testing is moving along nicely. As you can see from the images below there have been people using the app. in its beta stage already. The feedback has been amazing. Standing on the street corner and watching people interact with the snowflakes and move around the area waving their hands and legs has been great. It’s been especially cool pretending to be an innocent onlooker to overhear the conversations and guessing of how the entire thing may be working. I saw more than a few people physically touching the glass guessing that they could effect the display ala touch screen. Several people danced in front of it. A few people looked semi frightened by the whole scenario. The best quote of the night came from a man who was simply amazed by the display. After carrying on about how cool it was he wrapped up the rant by exclaiming “this is downright amazing… but pfft… they’ve probably had this in Tokyo for the last 10 years”.
More testing tomorrow… and posting to ensue.