The Interactive Book

Client
Gates Ventures

Role
Creative Direction / Prototyping / Development

Tools
TouchDesigner / Arduino / Python / OpenCV / After Effects

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An interactive installation of four oversized, projection-mapped books reimagining the traditional keynote presentation. Originally on display at the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York during the 2017 United Nations General Assembly.

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You're A Wizard, Bill

In this unique installation, we developed a set of four interactive book stations each with a custom design that centered around the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Conference attendees, from author Steven Pinker to vlogger Casey Neistat, flipped through the pages of each book with smiles on their faces.

Walking up to these oversized, magical storybooks is a delightful and familiar experience. The soft-white blank canvas animates to life with every page turn. As you take in the colorful projections, each page invites you to interact with it by pressing various touchpoints throughout. These interactions respond by displaying additional animated content or sound.

By request, we redesigned a more premium iteration that found a home within the Gates' family library. You can catch a glimpse of the book (prior to the fresh redesign) on Episode 01 of the Netflix series, Inside Bill's Brain. 

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Bringing Blank Pages To Life

The interactive book's development underwent various design and scope iterations; from a flat-spined, 90s marker-scrawled punk zine to a Harry Potter-esque magical storybook of blank pages. What started as a site-specific room installation catering to 6ft ceilings became an adaptable system that can live in 22ft+ spaces.

The initial prototypes were built using depth sensors and simple shape recognition, but the final robust solution relies on embedded touch-capacitive sensors, infrared inks, and a computer vision algorithm. 

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Credits

Studio — tamper
Creative Director — Roberto Brambila
Executive Producer — Nate Barr
Development — Ben Chaykin, Ross Monroe, Roberto Brambila
Production — Shabazz Larkin, Jeremy Stuart, Jay Bryant, Victor Melendez, Brody Davis, Ashley Nieves, Roberto Brambila