San Lorenzo Sensoriale is a exhibition in Rome about The neighborhood Saint Lowrence in Rome. It covers its geology, its story (from the air raid of 1943 during the second world war to the present day) and its urbanism.
Our contribution is focused on the creation of an interactive installation, Virtual Bike, the allows a virtual tour through the streets of the neighborhood. A real bike is placed in front of a wall on which is projected a video of a route. The video will follow your speed, if you run fast or if you slow down, giving the impression that you are really cycling through Sanit Lowrence streets. There is also a mechanism of score that will place point-boxes through the route, rendered in an ‘augmented reality way’, that let you earn points.
We use several technologies to build up our installation, and we tried a lot of possible solutions. We needed to know at what velocity you are running, if you are turning to the right or to the left, and if you are slow down.
Eventually we used ad IR sensor for the steering, while a Bike computer sensor and magnet was used to detect each rotation of the wheel (and then the velocity).
We used Arduino to connect the hardware sensors, Quartz Composer for the graphic, a MIDI keyboard to let the player use some special bonus, and Java-based code that allow the hardware to talk with Quartz Composer.
The installation worked for two days, and it was a real success. In particular, we were amazed at how the children liked the bike. How this ever happened? Today, the graphic quality of games is excellent. Despite this, create a simple game but with unusual input devices and that recall the life of every day can make a difference. And we know this! 😉