Botanicus Interacticus and REVEL at SIGGRAPH 2012.

We presented a technical paper on REVEL project at SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in Los Angeles in August 2012. Full text of the paper co-authored by Olivier Bau and myself can be downloaded here: PDF. In addition to the paper, Botanicus Interacticus and REVEL projects were demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2013 Emerging Technology exhibition.

The Botanicus Interacticus installation explored the design of augmented interactive plants with Touché technology. The exhibition was designed in collaboration with Berlin-based Studio NAND as well as Philipp Schoessler, TheGreenEyl and Christian Riekoff. The video of the Botanicus Interacticus installation is above and more information is provided on the project web site → link.

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Botanicus Interacticus interactive plants were augmented with dynamic procedurally generated visuals. Each plant installation included a custom designed and manufactured cabinet with an LCD monitor behind the half-transparent mirror. The mirror reflected the plants and the reflections were augmented with the digital images generated on the monitor behind the mirror.

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The REVEL installation featured table with multiple objects augmented with dynamic tactile feedback generated using REVEL technology. Simply by placing the objects on the table, tactile sensations were added to them. In addition, the images projected on the table would have tactile feelings as well.

REVEL Exhibition

Emering Technology

The visitors would have to hold a stick that would connect their body to common ground and activate tactile sensations.

REVEL Project.

REVEL is a new wearable technology that modifies the user tactile perception of the physical world.

Current tactile technologies enhance objects and devices with various tactile devices, limiting the experience to the interaction with few instrumented devices. In contrast, REVEL can add artificial tactile sensations to almost any surface or object, with very little instrumentation of the environment. As a result, it can provide dynamic tactile sensations on a variety of everyday objects, such as furniture, walls, wooden and plastic toys, and even human skin.

REVEL is based on a principle of  “Reverse Electrovibration”. It is a small wearable device that injects weak electrical signal into anywhere on the user’s body, creating an oscillating electrical field around the user’s fingers. When sliding his or her fingers on a surface of the object, the user perceives highly distinctive tactile textures that augment the physical object. Varying the properties of the signal, such as the shape, amplitude and frequency, can provide a wide range of effective  tactile sensations.

Botanicus Interacticus.

Botanicus Interacticus explores the design of highly expressive interactive plants, both living and artificial. Botanicus Interacticus has a number of unique properties. The instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. It allows for rich and expressive gestural interaction, such as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.

Botanicus Interacticus is based on Touché sensing technology that we developed earlier this year  and  it will be used to design highly interactive environments based on living plants.

Media is excited about Touché!

There was a lot of excitement in media in relation to Touché project.

Gizmodo called it “… mindblowing“,  a ” … touch of genius” wrote Motley Fool  and Venture Beat found it to be ” … amazing“. TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fox News, WiredNew Scientist and many others ran excited articles about Touché.

One of the most detailed stories was written by Talking Points Memo, where writer had a long chat with me about the project, history and how it came about. One of my favorite articles was published in London METRO, complete with a drawing of Mickey Mouse doing his magic.

Very nice reception all around.

Project Touché: Sensing is Everywhere!

Touché is a new touch sensing technology that we have recently invented at Disney Research. It can not only detect a single touch event, but simultaneously recognize complex configurations of the human hands and body during touch interaction. For example, in our explorations we added complex touch and gesture sensitivity not only to computing devices and everyday objects, such a doorknob or a surface of a desk, but also to the human body and liquids.

Importantly, instrumenting objects and material with Touché is easy: a single wire is sufficient to make a broad variety of objects and environments both touch and gesture sensitive.

More information about Touché technology can be found here.

SideBySide Project.


SideBySide is a novel interactive system that allows multiple people to play and work together using handheld projectors at anytime and anyplace. SideBySide continues our  investigation of  mobile projectors as a new interactive medium that we started with MotionBeam project.

The use of SideBySide  is immediate and simple: users project onto a surface and their projection becomes aware and responsive to other projections nearby. Interaction can range from projector-based games, such as boxing with projected characters, to everyday tasks such as exchanging contact information by “dragging and dropping” onto another user’s projection.

Importantly, SideBySide does not require any fixed sensing in the environment and can be used anywhere: at home, at the office, or even inside the car during long road trips. The system consists of a hybrid mobile projector that outputs both visible and invisible projections at the same time. The invisible projection contains tracking data that can be recognized by the device camera, allowing accurate location tracking of multiple projections and lightweight communication between devices.

SideBySide was developed by Karl Willis, myself, Scott Hudson and Mo Mahler ad Disney Research, Pittsburgh. See Disney Research and my personal web sites for more information.

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