Each year, the Spring Show for New York’s Tisch ITP graduate program showcases a wide range of interactive projects. This year’s show recently concluded, and though I couldn’t be there personally, I combed through the projects online found a handful of standouts that I think would look right at home at Maker Faire.
$weat is a “smart garment” made by Billy Dang that tracks the wearer’s sweat output. Instead of measuring sweat as a liquid volume, the shirt assigns and displays a monetary value for your sweat. On one hand, it’s a play on the idea of sweat equity and assigning worth to labor, but on a purely functional level it’s neat to see sweat used as point of biometric data.
Chimera 3 by David Tracy uses virtual reality goggles to wirelessly view and control a shoulder mounted camera worn by a third party. Thanks to the integrated head-tracking capability of the Oculus Rift headset, whoever wears the VR goggles can move the position of of the remote camera simply by turning their head left, right, up, or down. Think of it as an immersive telepresence robot, but the robot is a parrot hitching a ride on someone’s shoulder.
BearHug by Tanya Campbell and Erin Finnegan is a unique arcade cabinet fit with two unusual and lighthearted games. One game, called Gummy Bear Tease, challenges players to match the color spelled on a descending digital gummy bear to the color shown on a color wheel controller. The twist is that while the color spelled on a bear may say “green” the actual color of the bear may be something completely different.
The second game, titled First Person Hugger, is a spin on the idea of a traditional first person shooter game, substituting bullets for hugs. Hugs are inflicted using a pair of modeled hands instead of joysticks and the number of hugs given increases the player’s “reputation score.”
Doti: The Desktop Jacquard Loom
Doti, by Pamela Liou, is a computer-controlled loom. Think of it as a desktop printer for fabric. And because designs can be sent to the loom remotely over Wi-Fi, we can now add looms to the list of antiquated items now part of the Internet of Things.
Lumens are a pair of illuminated shoes designed by David Tracy, Abhishek Singh, Jingwen Zhu, and Jayati Ambekar. The shoes are made out of a triangular silicon mould with multiple backlit LED panels that are controlled by a companion smartphone app to dial in whatever hue you like. Haptic feedback buzzers are also built into the soles of the shoes and are programmed to go off when the wearer is inactive, encouraging more activity.
Tripping the Rift
If the cocktails at the ITP Spring Show weren’t strong enough, Matt Romein’s Tripping the Rift project should be enough to convince anyone they’re completely blitzed. Using an Oculus Rift outfitted with stereoscopic cameras, Tripping the Rift takes reality and processes it to disorient you. A companion smartphone app, mounted on your wrist for easy access, triggers a number of preset “trips.”
For more information on all the projects featured at ITP’s Spring Show, you can visit their project page online.