This year's Maker Faire features the I School student project "Art/Mo/Sphere," a virtual bubble-blowing interface developed by students Ashley Kayler, Michael Manoochehri, and Laura Paajanen for the school's course in Tangible User Interfaces.
Art/Mo/Sphere is a Rochambeau-style game that involves virtual bubbles colliding and popping to create art. When the two players blow into their bubble wands, virtual bubbles appear on the screen and move fast or slow depending on the intensity of the blowing. Rotating the wands left or right changes the direction that the bubbles travel. When bubbles from one wand collide with bubbles from the other, they pop and leave a paint splotch across the screen. The resulting exploded bubble splotches leave a beautiful image of abstract action art, a virtual homage to Jackson Pollack.
In the Art/Mo/Sphere game, "spiky" bubbles pop "gooey" ones, "gooey" defeats "fluffy," and "fluffy" bubbles take out the "spiky" ones. Players change the style of their bubbles by dipping their wands into corresponding buckets. Players can collaborate and try to influence the pattern of paint splotches, or they can compete to see who can pop more of the other's bubbles.
Maker Faire is a unique "do-it-yourself" showcase of creativity and ingenuity, a newfangled fair that combines high-tech wizardry and low-tech craftsmanship, in a two-day, family-friendly event May 30 & 31, 2009, at the San Mateo County Expo Center.
The Faire features an eclectic mix of wild and wondrous creations, ranging from rockets and robots to weaving and screenprinting, and blending art and science with engineering and craft.
Tangible User Interfaces Course
Art/Mo/Sphere originated as a class project in the Fall 2008 Tangible User Interfaces course at the School of Information. In the course, professor Kimiko Ryokai focuses on the physical interaction with computational media, and students design and develop experimental applications, underlying technologies, and theories using concept sketches, posters, physical mock-ups, working prototypes, and a final project report.
The course will be offered again in Fall 2009.