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%.


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.


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.


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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