The most impressive public display projects

I have always been interested and fascinated by projections and screens in public space. Not the usual tv in a metro which shows news but visual elements that change the environment and use them as integral part. Back in 2007 I wrote about my friend Frederic Eyl who invented the “parasite”, which can be placed at the outside of a metro wagon and projects on the outside wall so travelers see the visuals from the inside.

In 2001 I was witness to one of the most impressive projects, a whole house as a screen, using single windows with lamps behind as digits! Blinkenlights took place the first time in Berlin at Alexanderplatz, watch a video documentary:

Even more impressive was their work on the French national library in Paris one year later:

Nowadays projection artists and technology is advanced enough to project pictures on buildings which take the specific form into account. Here is project from Hamburg, from last week:

But my current favorite is the opera house in Sidney which folds in the end:

Always looking for more of this kind, do you have any links?

Projecting digital DJing interfaces on Vinyl

Wow, here is the next step, using records and mixer as background for user interface projections and making the pictures and the software react to gestures. Check out a video below.

I think digital DJing is ok, but I am sure we haven’t reached the point yet where truly the advantages, compared to classic vinyl, rule out the disadvantages. Sure, you can carry much more music with way less weight and you have more live editing possibilities. Still, the interfaces for picking music and mixing works better with real records in my opinion. There’s no comparison to flipping through records in a case and decide what to put on next and the visible waveform on the vinyl tells you about the dramaturgy of the track. Not talking about the sound differences where vinyl still has the most depth.

With the experimental software shown in the video which connects to Serato Sratch, an important step could be possible: the visualization of records onto your record player and the visualisation of track information on your user interface.

Projection Mapping Onto Turntables from E.N.S. on Vimeo.

Two people seem to be behind that, I couldn’t really figure out who is who by research, but I found Ian Silverman aka E.N.S. and this YouTube playlist which documents CyrusBUK’s work on that project.

Augmented Reality concert on a snack bag

Doritos teamed up with several agencies (e.g. Mekanism and Proto) and Blink182 to present a concert on a snacks bag. In fall 2009, on you could hold a marker printed on a Doritos bag into the webcam connected to a flash app that would recognize that code and put a concert video by Blink182 filmed in a green screen room into the virtual space. You could than turn the bag and thus control the perspective of the video. Great brand transfer and well done technology of “musicians in your palm”.

Here is an example, find the making of video from a more detailed Wired article further down.

A 3D business card

Ok, now here we are with augmented reality, it is starting. We have the tools like webcams and Actionscript and in flow the impressive examples.

AR Business Card from James Alliban on Vimeo.

You can try it too! Print this and go here and be amazed!

It’s done by James Aliban, an artist-developer-scientist who likes to experiment and build stuff with all sorts of hardware and flash. Here is how to build a multitouch screen very easily on your own. And he has many more examples.

(via Michael)

Update: Thanks to Konrad here is another augmented reality example by GE