Everyone dreams of flying, but does everyone dream of flying through New York City? Students at University of Southern California (USC) decided to embark on this flight project for Tactical Media, a class which empowers users to explore software and hardware for solutions. Named HappyBird, not only does it have the humor of a “Junior Birdman” outfit, but it allows the wearer to control their flight through movement. Looking to have a co-pilot? Just have two people each take a wing! The ruffled paper wings have tilt sensors connected to Arduino, allowing for a responsive experience while flying through a sim of NYC. There is definitely some glam equipment here including the matrix of flat screens and industrial fan. However, it does create an immersive environment.
Although the project is amazing, what is most interesting is the last line of the video, which is a “thanks” to John and Pete @Oblong. Remember all those gesture controlled goodies in Minority Report? Well, we have Oblong to thank for that. The company seems to do seminars with USC, and although it is not obvious what the connection is for our HappyBird team, there is an inspirational link since this is the perfect example of a UI that considers real world space. Check out John Underkoffler’s TED talk from 2010 to learn more about gesture based UIs.
I’m sending a big congrats to the hardware loving geeks at USC— Elisa Alfonso, Grant Lee, Thomas Watson and Kayla Paredes. I’m hoping Marvel Studios includes you for the future of Ironman gaming! For the rest of you, if you have a desire to create your own responsive interface, you should check out our learning guide for our 9 Degrees of Freedom Breakout. You get an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope in one package; so start planning the movements you would like to use for controlling your device. Send us a video of your finished project and we’ll make you famous.
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