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Interactive Transportable Architecture:
peyote's iTube and Sensing Places' Natural Interfaces


This project is displayed in Vortechs, in the Sails Pavilion.

The iTube is an example of interactive transportable and reconfigurable architecture that incorporates unencumbered real-time body tracking and gesture recognition to explore a 3D cityscape and a brain-like web-based information space.

Like transportable dreams, the iTube enables multimedia experiences (almost) everywhere. Within its interior, an interactive rear-projection screen is steered by the user via real-time body interaction. 3D sound ensures an immersive experience. The technology is permanently integrated within the telescope-like, extendible iTube architecture, which ensures a very fast assembly and dismantling time.

Innovation
With today's technology, anyone can navigate in sophisticated 3D graphical environments and play engaging computer games in highly realistic and fascinating 3D landscapes. But this progress has not been paralleled by equivalent advances in human-machine interfaces to facilitate access and displacement in virtual worlds. People still use quite primitive and limiting interfaces: the joystick, button-activated game consoles, or the computer keyboard itself.

Full immersion and skillful exploration of 3D graphical environments are limited by the users ability to apply these interfaces, and the consequences of repetitive use often involve undesired and painful medical consequences to wrists, fingers, arms, or shoulders. New, more natural interfaces are needed to navigate inside virtual worlds.

In the iTube, participants use natural interfaces to explore the virtual 3D spaces projected onto its large screen with a small set of pointing and command gestures. A robust computer-vision-based, full-body immersive interface empowers surfing inside the cityscape. A separate computer-vision-based hand-tracking and gesture-recognition system drives navigation inside the BrainSpace. These interfaces work in real time and require only standard computers and small cameras. They do not require special calibration procedures, do not limit body movements with cables or tethers, nor do they require wearing special suits with markers for tracking.

The SIGGRAPH 2003 iTube features two applications. One allows visitors to explore a cityscape in 3D and surf in real time from the tops of buildings to street-traffic level. Defying gravity to dive in and out of space and time, the participant becomes part and observer of a new interpretation of urban patterns like traffic, noise, and street life in a virtual city.
NEWYORK EXIT NEWYORK

The other application, called BrainSpace, allows users to use natural hand gestures (no gloves or markers) to browse through a 3D brain-like matrix that contains information extracted from the World Wide Web.

Vision
Transportable architecture that embeds the means to communicate with real or imaginary digital information spaces in a natural fashion offers unprecedented opportunities to make immersive, body-driven multimedia experiences available to the public almost everywhere.

Goal
The iTube project's goal is to provide a mobile media-hosting and display device for indoor and outdoor public installations that has the full features and functionality that people expect from a 21st-century virtual-reality system. Its interaction modality with real and imaginary virtual displays is natural, unencumbering, and futuristic. By using computer-vision-based, natural, human-machines interfaces, it achieves the vision the public is already familiar with from movies such as "Minority Report," in which Tom Cruise uses hand gestures to browse through electronic data on a large screen.

Contacts
peyote's iTube
Oliver Irschitz
peyote information design gmbh
oliver.irschitz@peyote.cc

NEWYORK EXIT NEWYORK
Priam Givord

Sensing Places' natural interfaces
Flavia Sparacino
Sensing Places
flavia@media.mit.edu




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