The Illuminatable is the result of the fourth creative technology project. The goal of this particular project was to make an installation for the upcoming dutch event called Gogbot. A festival where art and technology come together with a common theme. This year’s theme was spaceship earth. A philosophy where we work together as humanity to sustain our starship earth until eternity. By working together and using sustainability principles to its fullest potential.

Since we first out already decided that we wanted to do something with music, we pretty much decided to make a music interaction installation for relaxation, from the start. Not something you would presume come out of a brainstorm. We generated a bunch of ideas but ended up with the Illuminatable in the end. A digital surface where people can draw music. Not in the general sense but in a very literal one. The goal of this project we set ourselves was to create a musical experience that anyone could interact with. No matter what their background was. This also led the way for using drawing as an input method.

Drawing and music making are two of the oldest ways of communication. If you look at the stone age, people already were making music and drawings to tell stories and relax from what had happened that day. Drawing lines with a pen is also very familiar to people and takes less practice than learning a musical instrument. Making it easy to ‘write’ music with our interactive table.

As for the whole space theme. Interstellar travelers also need time to relax while also maintaining a sense of teamwork. A perfect combination with music. Thus, our choice to divide the table into 4 quarters. Each for one player and each with a different instrument to play around with. Resulting in one single song built together. Also a lot of fun and an excuse to meet new people on the exposition floor.

The device is made out of a steel frame with two mirrors and a beamer that beams its light via the mirrors on the surface area. An infrared camera watches the surface also, for infrared light via the mirrors. Images then get send to the computer inside the device. The computer the processes the images and interprets them to produce sound and visuals.

For a video with some explanation and a showcase of the table in action, look below.