Soak, Dye in Light

A bit of a confession – I bought a Kinect. Don’t know what a Kinect is? It’s Microsoft’s motion control system for the Xbox 360. I only got it to go with Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s lovely Child of Eden, and I’m still not sure about it. I like the idea but it just feels a little laggy and imprecise.

It’s not great as a game controller, but it’s still a fab little piece of hardware that people have been quick to hack and play around with. Packing two cameras – one of them infra-red for depth finding –it’s proved a bit of a hit with people using it to create their own interactive applications, and Soak is one of the best I’ve seen.

Soak Dye in Light

Created by Everyware in Korea, Soak, Dye in Light is an installation consisting of an illuminated canvas hanging in a darkened room. Pressing into its elastic surface causes colour to soak into it, enabling you to create your own multicoloured patterns of virtual dye.

It’s all done with a Kinect and a Processing app that simulates a watercolour effect; simple but brilliant. Everyware suggest that it could be combined with digital fabric printing technology for creating personalised clothes or fabrics.

Soak Dye in Light

As it is, though, it’s the sort of thing that makes me want to unplug the Kinect from my 360 – it looks a bit daft on top of the TV, to be honest – plug it into my PC and have a bit of a play with it. Great work!