Lia Martinez
William Jennings

Smirkipop Plop

With hands you control the fate of the inhabitants of Smirkipop Plop: watch them react/bounce as you wreak havoc as a force of nature: controlling rainclouds, creating hurricanes, swirling tornados, making the earth shake and more!

Computational Cameras,The Nature of Code

Smirkipop Plop is a tiny world where the user is the god. The world is rear projected onto a flat, stretchy surface. On it you see tiny villagers and people who populate a simple cartoon terrain, moving about as they lead their normal lives. Above the people float clouds.

Users can interact with the world as though they were its god: clouds part to make way for hands, but clouds that are too close together will make it rain; with hands, the people below can be herded and picked up; tornadoes and hurricanes can be generated by swirling. The surface itself adds another kind of interaction: tapping at the latex surface will make it bounce, and the people will feel it as a quake. Pushing against the latex further will reveal what lies underneath the layers of the planet: the crust, the outer core, and finally the fiery underworld.

The installation consists of the surface itself, a microsoft kinect to detect depth information, and 2 projectors: one for rear projecting the world, and another to project the tiny people in the user's hands in case they get picked up.

The world of theirs need change, they have traveled so very far and arrived here on earth. They do best with change, motion and exploration. Luckily humans are curious, meddling little monkeys, smirkyplops need you to swirl, slip, plop, pickup and drop them into their world. When you do this for them you are helping their world grow, you are helping them with you mean little ways. It’s possible there will be rewards for kindness but the smirky’s don’t know the difference between good and evil it seems, all they know is how to plant, dance, plop, jabber about in their own language and it’s up to you to smirk.

Children and adults who like to linger with their imaginations.

User Scenario
The piece will have no visible interface. As such, the user is free to see how he can affect the population's behavior with his gestures. Make a hurricane by swirling; create thunder by clapping; press down against the latex to see the underbelly of the world. The intention is to create surprise and delight, and to encourage prolonged interaction.

First prototype = lycra stretched over garbage can w/projector that shoots from underneath. To advance the prototype we would like to move it to a more "beautiful setup" and giant globe in half and have to different screens.

That integration of sketches can be difficult but once you get things working you just need to setup already.