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Research Meets Light Art in This Microsoft Installation


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Artist's representation of "A Panorama of the Skies."

An installation at Microsoft's headquarters uses an open source software development kit to transform a room into a space of audiovisual elements to stimulate the senses.

Credit: PSFK.com

Microsoft researchers have developed "A Panorama of the Skies," an installation at Microsoft's headquarters that uses the RoomAlive Toolkit--an open source software development kit that helps users calibrate video projectors and Kinect sensors--to transform a conference room into a space full of audiovisual elements to stimulate the senses.

The installation uses five projectors and eight Kinect cameras to "acquire a detailed map of the room, register the projectors and cameras into a single coordinates system, and enable real-time projection mapping in the immersive scene," says Microsoft's Maja Petric, whose research focuses on using light in art projects.

In creating the installation, Petric and Microsoft human-computer interaction researcher Hrvoje Benko wanted to create a space that could be "experienced emotionally," showing natural scenes such as the sun rising and lightning striking.

University of Washington researcher Daniel Peterson contributed soundscapes, which merge natural sounds and three-dimensional audio techniques to create a multi-layered experience.

From PSFK
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