The installation Performative Space Prototype shows recent works including interactive displays, rapid prototype models, renderings, photographs and objects. The technical realisation of the environment is supported by the Institute of Computer Graphic & Knowledge Visualisation at Graz University of Technology.

11 January – 3 March 2011, ACF London
ORTLOS Space Engineering – Performative Networked Design
Venue: Austrian Cultural Forum, London, SW7 1PQ

“Performative Space Prototype” is an interactive simulation environment for designing and rendering models. The prototype is displayed on a large screen (2.6m x2.6m), which allows the users visually to immerse into their work, while performing interaction with the model in the computer graphic rendered scene. Applying conventional user interface approaches, like using a mouse and a keyboard stuck in front of a computer, are not sufficient here, as they do not cover the virtual reality-specific aspects of the prototype. In other words, the space needs incorporating more natural forms of interaction.

Gestures are a powerful, practical way to communicate with a system. We used vision based depth sensors (Microsoft Kinect) to capture the user’s motion, especially to track the both hand gestures. A skeletal tracking engine processes the depth frame data to calculate the floor clipping plane and to find out whether or not a skeleton (user) currently appears in the frame. It provides full skeletal tracking for one or two users in the sensor’s field of view. Based on the extracted skeletal data, the directions where the users’ arms are currently pointing are calculated, and the regions of hands segmented from the scene are analyzed to recognize the gestures. Each defined hand gesture triggers the corresponding interaction commands, like hold, grab, and release. The tracking data is transferred via network to our GML modeler to visualize models and the space finally becomes enabled to respond instantly to the user’s intention. The natural user interface technology augments the experience in developing models in easy and intuitive way.

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