Touchscreen Landscapes

[Image: Screen grab via].

This new, partly digital sand table interface developed for military planning would seem to have some pretty awesome uses in an architecture or landscape design studio.

Using 3D terrain data—in the military's case, gathered in real-time from its planetary network of satellites—and a repurposed Kinect sensor, the system can adapt to hand-sculpted transformations in the sand by projecting new landforms and elevations down onto those newly molded forms.

You can thus carve a river in real-time through the center of the sandbox, and watch as projected water flows in—

[Image: Screen grabs via].

—or you can simply squeeze sand together into new hills, and even make a volcanic crater.

[Image: Screen grabs via].

The idea of projecting adaptive landscape imagery down onto a sandbox is brilliant; being able to interact with both the imagery and the sand itself by way of a Kinect sensor is simply awesome.

Imagine scaling this thing up to the size of a children's playground, and you'd never see your kids again, lost in a hypnotic topography of Minecraft-like possibilities, or just donate some of these things to a landscape design department and lose several hours (weeks?) of your life, staring ahead in a state of geomorphic Zen at this touchscreen landscape of rolling hills and valleys, with its readymade rivers and a thousand on-demand plateaus.

The military, of course, uses it to track and kill people, filling their sandbox with projections of targeting coordinates and geometric representations of tanks.

[Image: Screen grabs via].

But there's no reason those coordinates couldn't instead be the outlines of a chosen site for your proposed architecture project, or why those little clusters of trucks and hidden snipers couldn't instead be models of new buildings or parks you're hoping will be constructed.

Watch the original video for more.

(Spotted via the Quartz Daily Brief).

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Anonymous Kyle VanHemert said...

Worth noting that this project actually was first conceived as a tool for teaching kids about topography and watershed science. In fact, there are a handful of these in science museums around the country. Developed by Oliver Kreylos at UC Davis

October 21, 2014 11:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had a professor that was working on Patents for a system like this, that I would consider 95% similar (his did not have different colors - only the contour lines in red), in 2004 or so. His name is Thad Heckman and he teaches at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

October 22, 2014 9:33 AM  
Blogger cjf said...

tellart also used this in an installation,

October 23, 2014 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just watch out for the cat.

October 30, 2014 7:49 AM  

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