The making of Sim-Suite

September 27, 2009

v i s u a l i z a t i o n s k e t c h

Sim-Suite, an interactive installation as research platform for social interaction

“Sim-Suite” enables three members of the public to engage via embodied interaction with shared virtual, real-time graphics. The participants stand in close physical proximity to each other while forming a triangle in space. In the centre, in horizontal position, is a large screen display. Participants manipulate the displayed real-time graphics by interacting with these collectively. The game concept is derived from European, cross-cultural gaming elements, it blends hopscotch, tictactoe with go. The participants are players who compete against each other and against time to create a specified pattern as part of the game-play. The interaction occurs through the manipulation of three sensor-enhanced boards which each of the participants operates through balancing and stepping movements.

Construction of the individual elements of the installation

Our starting point was a commercial wobble-board which we modified by building a box around it so that the tipping angle to the ground is shortened by about 5o%.

wobbleboard_legs2.jpg

Sim-Suite players affect the motion of the wobble-board through movement . We track this motion by using phidgets, we generate values from infra-red sensors. These values are used to translate the motion of the board, and ultimately the movement of the player into rendered graphics.

sensor_overallconstruct2.jpg

The left image shows the sensors we used, two per board. On the right you see an approximation of the setup, the accurate display is a 40″ LCD screen.

finishedplatform_wobble2.jpg

The finishing phase for the installation’s physical construction involved refining the wobble-boards and building a timber structure to encase screen and wobble-board boxes.

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