Apr 20, 2011

The Digital Experience: Strange Things are Happening

Perhaps our DOOH office changes aren’t as dramatic as Toy Story, but there have been a lot of happenings and changes at the LEAP office centered on Homer and the DOOH testing area. Last week, Drew and Will, LEAP developers, adhered the film to Homer and removed the blue protective sheet, putting us one step closer to testing the software and experience.


I connected with Drew Greenwell, who is leading the charge on the development of the DOOH experience, to get some insight on the software being used and thoughts on when office testing will begin.


Q: How does the sensor detect someone in front of it?

A: The software uses infrared depth sensors built into the Kinect to draw the silhouette of people walking by.



Q: Is that different than a heat sensor technology?

A: Yes. This is different than heat based technology in that it projects an infrared dot pattern and then looks for changes in the pattern to determine the depth. The method the Kinect uses lets it detect movement of any object (clothes, prosthetics, canes, cats, etc).



Q: What is the current status of the software? What can it do?

A: The software is currently only a proof of concept to demonstrate that we can effectively show or hide layers using the silhouette as the “window” into the hidden layers. For example, the text that says, “This is the Foreground” disappears when you stand in front of it. Where your silhouette is being drawn, you can see text that says, “This is the Background.”


Q: Any thoughts on when actual testing in the office will begin?

A: The actual implementation is still up in the air. The basic idea we’ve been tossing around is to replace the text with images or video of different situations. For example: the foreground could be a dirty street. When you stand in front of it, we could expose an underlying video of a clean street. The idea is to get the DOOH user thinking that their involvement in cleaning up their community could make an impact. We’ve additionally toyed with the idea of making the silhouettes (or foreground picture) grow based on the amount of time the user stands there (i.e., the longer you’re involved, the more impact you have).

Development of the software is well underway and poised for further development based on creative direction.


(Contributed by Brittany Burdoine-Lewis)