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Interactive Dance Club: New at SIGGRAPH 98
Participants Affect Real-Time Computer-Generated Images, Video, Lighting, and Music

For immediate release

For further information:
Ann Kilhoffer

(June 24, 1998) The Interactive Dance Club will premiere at SIGGRAPH 98, the 25th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, 19 - 24 July. The SIGGRAPH 98 Interactive Dance Club is a multi-participant, interactive environment with real-time computer-generated imagery, lighting, and video, synchronized to dance club music (acid jazz, world, ambient, drum 'n bass).

"In the Interactive Dance Club, instead of dancing to prerecorded music and images, participants affect the environment as they dance," said Ryan Ulyate of Synesthesia, SIGGRAPH 98 Interactive Dance Club Chair. "Within interactive zones located throughout the club, participants influence music, lighting, and projected computer graphics images. We have zones for single participants, dual participants, and groups of participants. Like sections in an orchestra, output from the interactive zones combines with a pre-defined basic rhythm to form the overall performance. Moving from zone to zone, participants experience different blends of musical and visual elements."

A sophisticated system of hardware and software keeps eight zones in sync while analyzing and filtering participant input, in order to deliver a musically coherent and visually satisfying experience. Feedback to the participants is designed to be immediate and responsive.

The SIGGRAPH 98 Interactive Dance Club zones are located throughout the club. The zones are as follows:

Beam Breaker
The Beam Breaker zone consists of parallel light beams above participants' heads on a dance floor with sensors that detect when a beam has been broken. Participants control aspects of the lighting and trigger musical phrases.

This zone consists of a state-of-the-art infrared video camera focused on an area of the dance floor. This camera registers participants' body heat. The location of participants within this zone affects aspects of the surrounding environment. Projecting the infrared image on a large screen provides visual feedback.

Stomp is a two-person zone characterized by lots of physical motion. Participants interact by dancing and stomping on floor-mounted pads. Discrete pad hits and the level of activity in different areas within the zone control music and projected computer graphics.

In this zone, participants step up onto a platform two feet above the dance floor and enter a cone of light. Once inside the cone, they interact by extending their arms and breaking the surrounding light beam, casting a shadow on a circular array of sensors embedded in the platform below. This controls the music in the immediate vicinity.

Meld Orbs
The Meld Orbs are two four-foot-diameter spheres. Mounted on the surface of each Orb are nine near-field proximity sensors. Up to three participants interact with each Orb to affect projected computer graphics imagery.

Reach is a one-person zone positioned on a raised platform. A video camera captures the participant's image, which is processed in real-time, generating a computer graphics kaleidoscope. The participant must reach in order to touch four trigger pads positioned in a half-circle. Each pad controls an aspect of the kaleidoscope and sound in the immediate vicinity.

Participants rotate two wheels mounted on a horizontal bar to affect projected computer graphics. A pair of foot pedals allows the participant to change which aspects of the computer graphics the wheels are controlling.

Tweak is a one-person zone in which the participant interacts with two infrared proximity sensors and four overhead beam breakers. These interactions affect music and projected computer graphics.

SIGGRAPH 98 is being held 19 - 24 July, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. It includes a comprehensive exhibition of products and services for the computer graphics and interactive marketplace 22-23 July.

If you would like more information on the Interactive Dance Club or would like to review the entire SIGGRAPH 98 technical program, please contact Ann Kilhoffer, SIGGRAPH 98 Marketing and Media, +1.619.275.5090 or email:

For news from SIGGRAPH 98 exhibitors, please see PR Newswire.

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