Craig Protzel
Thitiphong Luangaroonlerd

Water World

Water World is an interactive audio/visual installation that bridges the imagery and sounds of life below the ocean with the actual experience of exploring the ocean environment.

Computational Cameras,Spatial Media

Water World is an interactive audio/visual experience that lets a user physically explore the depths of the ocean through an aquarium and a hand-held lens. By having a user physically sink a viewing lens into the water and freely moving it about, the installation recreates the natural and beautiful experience of exploring the depths of the ocean.

Depending upon the depth and position of the viewing lens, a different video is unmasked and a varying soundscape is triggered. As the lens sinks deeper into the aquarium, the video and audio played also change corresponding to imagery and sounds from deeper beneath the ocean surface.

On the technical side, a Kinect camera placed below the aquarium acts as the input sensory device. Water World takes advantage of the Kinect's unique depth mapping capabilities to determine the location of the viewing lens. OpenFrameworks is used to input the data, perform the computing, and trigger the videos, and a PD sketch interfaced with OpenFrameworks is used to produce the audio soundscape. Lastly, a projector and speakers, both placed below the aquarium, are used as the output devices for video and sound respectively.

"Water World" plays on the notion of depth in terms of the user's interaction as well as the technology used to execute the experience. But, by hiding the technology in its presentation and encouraging you to physically sink your arms into the water, the goal is to recreate the natural and exciting experience of exploring the depths of the ocean.