Everyone wants to be a superhero at some point in their lives. Either as a child you discovered a deep admiration for icons like Wonder Woman and Superman, or as a middle-aged man you felt an urge to bust out a hand-made mini mask to feed the homeless, all while running around Brooklyn doing split jumps in the air. With Superhero, an interactive digital projection, anyone can have virtual super powers and live the dream, no matter what that super dream is.
Wildbytes is a creative studio and technology lab based in New York and Madrid, and by pushing forward technological research they're able to bring the unreal and unimaginable to life. The parallel worlds they create through their works are inspired by the collective fantasies and sensibilities of everyday people—the aim is to connect the public with immersive experiences using interactivity.
The project Superhero began back in 2011 when they decided to combine the concept of super powers with gesture-based technology. Because if you don't happen to hail from the planet Krypton, then why not use technology to pretend you can fly.
The latest version of Superhero was featured as the signature artwork at the 2012 Dumbo Arts Festival in New York. During the festival Wildbytes projected a monumental moving image of colorful paint splatters onto the façade of the Empire Stores building. Participants’ bodies were scanned by Kinect cameras in 3D, and then they were ready to soar through a magical superhero heaven. With custom gesture-detection technology and projection mapping, participants were able to control their superpowers, while simultaneously transforming the architectural background of Brooklyn into a moving comic book. Flying is as easy as raising your hands, tilting your hips changes direction, and players can also grow in size like Doctor Manhattan, throw energy balls, run at high-speed like Flash, and paint with a trace of visually stunning color.
Enhanced by real-time effects and cinematic sounds the experience is immersive, collective, and appeals to all the senses. If you missed it at the Dumbo event, don't worry, because you can get ready to fly over the summer sky, and save humanity one Kinect at a time at the 2013 Ann Arbor Summer Festival, where Wildbytes will showcase the latest version of Superhero, already in the works, that will feature new super powers.
All images courtesy of Wildbytes