temporal feedback

Craft, Materials & Digital Artistry 2016



Michael Szivos - Founder | SOFTlab


Project Background:

This project studies the use of real-time digital and physical feedback loops as a means to generate design elements.

A first exploration involved mounting a Kinect motion tracking camera above my desk which fed real-time tracking data into Processing. Every 100ms a new ‘slice’ of the tracking data was recorded, composited together, and visualized in Grasshopper to effectively create a 3D representation of my tracking data over time. My physical movements around my desk were recorded, digitally augmented, condensed, and ultimately came full-circle back to the physical as a 3D printed object.

A second exploration investigated direct digital feedback loops by placing a Kinect in a dark box with an LED array. The LED array is controlled with an Arduino micro controller and programmed using Processing software. The LED array and the Kinect were directly linked such that each element is acting as both an input and an output to the other. To describe the process simply, the intensity of the LED pixels is measured by the Kinect as an input. The data gathered by the Kinect is then re-represented in Grasshopper as a 3D height-field, acting as an output. This 3D height-field is then translated into an intensity map which becomes an input for the Arduino controller which adjusts the LED array accordingly. The cycle repeats indefinitely until stopped by the user.

Due to latency in the system, the input/output feedback loops become increasingly exaggerated and ultimately to the created fascinating 3D geometries that were the product of quite literally blending the physical and digital.