When a volcano erupts, a large, sunken crater called a Caldera is left in its wake. They are desolate and otherworldly voids, seemingly stolen from a post-apocalyptic future where – left with a blank canvas – we are suddenly faced with the challenge of reconstructing our environment completely from the ground up. But if we give ourselves the reins of Leap Motion technology, the power to reimagine our world is right in our grasp.
This concept of rebuilding after a great collapse inspired a team of digital media and motion graphics professionals enrolled at Stockholm’s Hyper Island school for digital enterprise in their recent project using Leap Motion. Equipped with our Controller, the students sought to create an experience that would challenge the current perception of what technology is capable of – then push it even further.
The result was Calderan.
To create the showpiece, the team projected WebGL images into a plexiglass pyramid to create a 3D hologram that can be manipulated in real time with the Leap Motion Controller. Attendees of the Distortional Evolution Exhibition approached Calderan with “wonder and excitement,” said digital media creator Ellinor Pettersson. “We had huge interest in from the visitors, and got great reactions. Calderan’s onlookers could repel the object in the pyramid or zoom it closer, rotate it this way and that, and then with a simple tap motion of the air, an entirely new object would appear behind the glass.
“People walked in with a sense of curiosity. We were really inspired by the reactions during the night. We heard so many great ideas from our visitors on how they would like this to be used in the future – everything from museum displays and interactive stores to apps for sign language. It was really fun to be able to inspire people through the installation, and to give people the chance to try new technology.”
In many ways, Leap Motion and Hyper Island are a perfect match. The programs and workshops the school provides help bring innovative professionals to the verge of a creative revolution – from the sidelines to the forefront of a rich new era of digital interaction.