Big Blue Interactive Pool installation
Nottingham Contemporary

Big Blue is an interactive floor projected installation that transforms the visitor into the depths of a interactive ocean. As the user walks amongst the reeds and plants of the installation that sway in the currents, their feet make ripples along the surface of the pool and the creatures suddenly become aware of the users presence. Shoals of brightly coloured fish swimming in the pool flock to the users position inquisitive to the ripples being made at the surface, swimming around their feet when they arrive.

Octopus like creatures shy away from the commotion. If the user manages to creep up and step upon the octopuses they quickly retreat to the depths of the ocean leaving a trail of bubbles in the path as they shy away. Large dark shark like creatures coolly cruise the pool and every once in a while they decide to breach the surface making splashes and ripples of their own as they do so.

The interactive pool is made possible by real-time graphics and the use of depth sensors positioned above the pool which track the position of visitors stepping upon it. The position of the user is used by the software to track the user and flocking algorithms are used to guide the fish in schools to the users positions. The flocking algorithms are also used to make the fish aware of one another and behave as shoals together. As in the real world each fish requires their own physical space and to be aware of the fish that are around them as well as ones they will encounter in their path. When fish heading in one direction encounter fish heading in a different direction the two schools will group together, forming a new school and head into a new direction.

When a number of people are detected the fish brake ranks and the total shoal is divided by the number of users interacting with the pool, with each user being visited by an equal amount of fish from the shoal.

data visualisation
interactive game