Dance Like Kinect Is Watching: The Interactive LED Amphitheater

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

'Tis the season for outdoor music festivals—which, traditionally, means days of sliding over mud-slick fields in wellington boots. But in Lyon, a group of designers and engineers dreamt up an alternative: a Kinect-powered interactive amphitheater that radiates light based on the footsteps of attendees.

The pyramid was custom-built for Nuits Sonores, an annual EDM festival that included performances by Dan Deacon and Nosaj Thing. Housed primarily inside of a giant warehouse in Lyon, the festival also included an outdoor stage. So organisers tapped Is This Good?, the London interactive studio, to create an installation where concert-goers could dance facing performers.

Their five-tier system is made from semi-transparent plastic embedded with LEDs. These are controlled via an OpenFrameworks script, which draws information about the location of attendees from six nearby Kinects. When a person moves or jumps onto one of the platforms, the lights turn on and change in intensity as their movements are tracked — meanwhile, a Processing-based program pushes generative, dynamic animations to five hanging screens behind the platforms. It's lovely, in a futuristic, Saturday Night Fever kind of way. Check out the full video below. [Creative Applications]