The world has changed a lot since you were a wide-eyed, innocent kid playing with your handmade sock puppet. Puppets have come a long way too.
This week, NYSCI opens Puppet Parade, a new type of puppetry created by Design I/O that uses computers and Xboxes to merge the movements of real people with projections of larger-than-life creatures. Puppeteers control the animals using their hands and arms. Then their actions are tracked through Xbox Kinects, the data is sent through a computer to a projector, and presto! – a fantastical, interactive scene is displayed on a 17-by-26-foot wall.
The experience includes all the entertainment of that old sock puppet, while also including the interactivity and special effects of today’s technology.
A test using a kinect to identify a sanitation truck being placed against the wall. The rubbish is then collected by the truck, disappearing from the projection.
Prototyping for Puppet Parade, NYSCI’s artists in residence Design-IO, use a Kinect camera:
This is what the Kinect camera mounted above the screen sees. We needed to mount it in this way so we could easily see when someone’s arm was outstretched in front of them.
The Waterfall Swing is a 19’ tall steel swing set with a computer controlled interactive water plane, capable of making shapes and text. Using water released from solenoid valves, a plane is created in front of the swing rider, a sensor tells the machine the rider’s position as shapes and messages descend around the rider’s path.
Check out the Waterfall Swing this weekend at World Maker Faire, NYC.