What is Projection Mapping?
Projection Mapping is a way of showcasing work using lights projected onto a canvas your choice. Using a dark background, typically a large building with no lights on, the animation or image is projected in the shape of it. Typically the animations shown are pieces of work for a companies promotional purposes. For example, Porsche used a combination of live action dancing and animation to create a promotional piece before unveiling their new car. Applications like MadMapper and HeavyM allow you to create projections on you pc and correctly map out and create your animation. Phone apps like Projection Mapper allow you to create an animation ready for projection straight from your phone by dragging in shapes and changing them to fit your specific dimensions.
My thoughts on Projection Mapping
I think projection mapping is an interesting and engaging way to show work or advertise a product. By transforming a building into something completely different you are drawing attention to your work. Projecting into a room is also a great way to interact with the public, for example the Disney Haunted Mansion. this uses projections and dark lighting to fool the public into thinking there are ghosts in the mansion. The downside of Projection Mapping is that your canvas needs to be as dark as possible in order for the animation/image to be shown properly. This is due to it being projected onto buildings through the use of lighting which restricts you to only being able to show the work at night. If the projection is being shown in a room, the room also needs to be as dark as possible or have minimal lighting. Also the purpose is to project onto a building, depending on the shape and size of the building, you could be restricted when it comes to creating the animation.
Real World Application
Real world applications for Projection Mapping include performances which incorporate live action dancing as well as projections as shown in the video above which was the unveiling of the Porsche Macan. Other popular uses for the technology is for a New Years eve count downs. The same principle is applied when doing this type of projection as is t any other, there needs to be minimal lighting and a big enough building to show the animation on.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
What is VR and AR?
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality uses computer technology to create an animated environment. By putting on the Head Mounted Display, the user is placed in the game/scene and are able to interact with the 3D world. Combining vision, hearing and touch the technology makes the user feel as if they truly are in the virtual world. VR requires a Head Mounted Display in order to be able to fully experience the technology. There are different types of VR technology, the most popular being the Oculus Rift or Vive which are the best at putting the user into the animated world. The other kinds of Virtual Reality include smartphone and film. Smartphone VR still requires a headset in order for it to be used properly but instead of being plugged into the system, you can download an app then by putting your smartphone in the slot, you are able to experience the game or world. As for film, Hardcore Henry is a first person shot film and the sports leagues tend to post a 360 degree video to social media so fans who could make it to the live game still get to experience the atmosphere.
'Once you put on the Vive headset, you’re immersed in a world full of surprises. Walk around freely and explore everything–the Chaperone guidance system keeps you safely within the bounds of your play area. Stunning graphics make it feel so real and surreal simultaneously.' - VIVE.
Augmented Reality is used to map an animation onto a real world surface, an example of this is the smartphone game 'Pookemon Go'. By using Augmented Reality the game is able to use the phones camera and display it on the screen and project an animation of a Pokemon character which the user can then catch with poke balls.
My thoughts on VR and AR
I think Virtual Reality is an innovating and engaging platform which can be used in multiple ways. Due to being connected to a wire when using the Vive, I found that I kept tripping or stepping on the wire which would tug at the Head Mounted Display. The Oculus didn't need to be connected through wire which meant it was easier to look around but the quality of the image when viewing through the Head Mounted Display when playing the game was blurred almost to the point where you couldn't make out any defining features and only see the colours of the objects. I feel that both of these are great but still need ignored to create a full immersive user experience. As for smartphones and film VR, I again feel that work still needs to be done on the technology. Augmented Technology is an entreating technology that mixes both the real world and the virtual world.
Real World Application
There are many different ways to use VR in the real world. For example the architect firm called Arch Virtual use VR to show their clients what the building would look like. This allows the client to walk around the building and get a feel for the final product rather than just looking at drawings and renderings on the building.
Other ways VR is being used in the real is for films. The film Hardcore Henry came out in 2016 and is completely shot in a first person point of view style. This lets the views feel as if they are Henry and they are experiencing everything he is.
For Augmented Reality, the Pokemon Go game is the biggest AR game of 2016 due to the fact you can actually see the Pokemon on your screen as if they was standing right in front of you.
What are Microcontrollers?
Micro controllers such as the littleBits technology shown above are electrical circuits which can be programmed to do a number of things by simply snapping modules together with magnets. As you can see from the video, Microcontrollers can be used to detect temperature and send alerts to the users phone. This is done by connecting the circuit to a recipe made on the website called If This Then That.
My thoughts about Microcontrollers
Micro controllers are great as they allow you to create and programme hundreds of different things like the fridge temperature or an alarm system. Being able to do this engages more and more people as they are creating it themselves and due to them creating it, they can re programme it if they should ever want to change it. Although this is a great and engaging technology, it is not cheap. The starter kit for littleBits is $199.99 which means some people may not be able to get access to the technology.
Real World Application
As shown in the video, Microcontrollers can be very helpful in everyday life and in a number of different ways. The technology is reprogrammable which means it has endless uses and possibilities. Due to the relative ease of this technology it can be applied quickly and easily by anyone.