Interactive Bridge – The London Design Festival

Last year’s London Design Festival some some pretty amazing things, and I will eagerly anticipate this year’s September showing to see what new creations are unleashed upon society. Realizing all too well I am about a year late on this, but in my defense I had a lot going on over the past couple of years – so cut me some slack.
The Bridge by Michael Cross
This thing is very cool. It’s basically an interactive installation that senses movement while a person moves along the path to raise and lower the steps to create a bridge where there was none. There are a few more pictures online at the festival’s gallery. From the gallery posting:

Bridge, by Michael Cross, is a series of steps that rise out of the water as you walk across them, as if walking on water. On entering the exhibition the visitor is met by an empty expanse of water with one step at its edge: stepping on to it forces it…

In some ways it reminds me of some of the projects people have done over the years with the Making Things boards – check out their projects page. There was one a while back, 2005 I think, where someone created an interactive maze that sensed where the participant was and rearranged the walls to create a maze within a very small area, I seem to remember it being in the area of 10 foot by 25 foot or something similar.

There are amazing interactive projects popping up everywhere – in fact, Litsa and I took Donovan to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and there they have a couple of projection wall that interact with people. One I was particularly fascinated by is capable of shape recognition, and motion, stopping falling letters on various body parts, then recognizing the parts creating words and phrases which correspond to the appendage blocking the letters path.

This is one area of development that I would really like to start poking around in – but how many hours are actually in a day? Not enough for me to get into all of the things I want to, that is for certain.

Br4x and I will start working soon on a project using Blend and Visual Studio to create at least one RIA in SilverLight, and I honestly cannot wait! I have started goofing around a little bit with Blend in some off-time, and it’s cool. In fact it does some things I wish were easier to do in Flash – but are quite easy in Flex. Which is exactly where I think Blend is aimed; creating RIAs. So, it being a Flash killer seems more like Ballmer’s fan boys blowing hot air from their arse, than anything based in truth.

The next progression to come from an installation like Bridge, could be to utilize Multi-touch technologies creating an interactive floorscape. Participants would walk across the surface, creating variations in the imagery, video or animations within it; as well as interacting with various environmental objects. Microsoft is delving into this arena as are other folks (like Jeff Han), but how cool would it be to have a large scale interactive surface where the actions of others on that surface would react and engage the other users – all through the surface upon which they satnd?

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