The 38th International Conference And Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques

Thermal Interactive Media

West Building, Ballroom B

The Thermal Interactive Media (TIM) display is a multi-sensory experience that combines beautiful visual elements, the soothing touch of water, and the bubbling sounds of flowing water combined with the gentle clacking sound of deer chasers.

The display consists of a horizontal rear-projection screen covered with a thin layer of water and two basins filled with water, one on each side of the display. One basin is filled with hot water, one with cold. Mounted above and pointing at the screen is a FLIR thermal imaging camera. Driving the whole system is a PC workstation generating two simultaneous video streams, one “hot” and one “cold”.

Users can choose to pour hot or cold water onto the display, using ladles in the basins. Wherever the user pours in hot water, TIM displays the “hot” video stream. Wherever the user pours in cold water, TIM displays the “cold” video stream. In the regions in between, the two video streams mix and swirl together based on the water temperature. By observing how the two video streams mix together, users can see real-world fluid dynamics in action and watch in real time as the thermal energy dissipates and distributes throughout the water. The experience is simultaneously magical, educational, entertaining, and relaxing.

For an extra level of fun, users can don ChromaDepth glasses to augment the experience with a pseudo-stereoscopic effect. Regions of warm water colored red float above the screen and the cool regions of water colored blue punch holes deep into the surface.

Mark Mine
Walt Disney Imagineering

Dustin Barnard
Walt Disney Imagineering

Bei Yang
Walt Disney Imagineering