There’s a popular belief within the walls of Untold Labs that nothing we ever do is ever meant for clients. And it’s half true. Labs is a risky endeavor and a Sprint might fail, a notion that’s unacceptable with clients. But we do it because even failure gets us a tad closer to uncovering a greatness we hadn’t before.
In August, we failed.
Our Creative Director Ron Edelen pitched a game akin to Tap Tap Revenge using skateboards mounted on our office walls. We’d project what you would see on the mobile game to the wall itself. Circles would fall from the ceiling as you tap custom skateboards on an iPad controller. Interactive Flash coding, animation and sound in 2.5 hours? Almost. Node.js (or “no-js”) and Flash can be difficult to work with limited time. But we did achieve projection mapping — lining a projected image above each deck — to create the illusion of live animation that pops. We did create an iPad controller using Chrome that would signal the projector to project a dot on the correct board when tapped on the screen. But we just didn’t have enough time to tie it all together. The process, time and the huge ambition didn’t align.
TSA X-Ray Scanner
Our Director of Emerging Technology Michael Chatten dreamt up projecting a 3D skeleton — fake digital bones — over your body. A board would be held in front of your figure, and as it moved up and down the projected skeleton would align with the body behind it. Hold the board up to your face, see a skull on the board. A 3D skeleton was put into the Unity game engine and a tracking marker (or fiducial) was cut-and-paste onto the board. But there was the problem. The webcam struggled to read the board while an image was projected on to it. The board couldn’t be read and projected on at the same time. Using visible light for both the projector and the camera caused interference, which infrared would have solved, Chatten said.