ITP Spring 2011                                 Comp Cameras / Spatial Media

Summary: An interactive audio/visual experience where a user physically explores the depths of the ocean through an aquarium and a hand-held lens. By sinking a viewing lens into the water and freely moving it about, the installation attempts to bridge the imagery and sounds of life below the ocean with a person’s actual experience of being immersed in the ocean.



User Experience: Depending upon the depth and position of the viewing lens, a different video is unmasked and a varying soundscape is triggered. As a user sinks the lens deeper into the aquarium, the video and audio played also change and correspond to imagery and sounds from deeper beneath the ocean surface.


Technology: A Kinect camera placed below the aquarium acts as the input device. Water World takes advantage of the Kinect’s unique depth mapping capabilities to determine the height/depth of the viewing lens. OpenFrameworks is used to input the data and perform the video computing. A PD sketch is interfaced with OpenFrameworks to produce the audio soundscape. Lastly, speakers and a projector, both placed below the aquarium, are used as the output devices for the sound and video.


Goals: “Water World” plays on the notion of depth in terms of the user’s interaction as well as the technology being used to execute the experience. But, by hiding all forms of computation and forcing the user to physically place their arms into the water, the hope is to recreate the natural and beautiful experience of freely exploring the depths of the ocean.


Collaborator: Thitiphong Luangaroonlerd