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Houdini

Experience design, development and mounting for Telefonica's "Houdini. Las Leyes del Asombro" exhibition.

Houdini

Overview

Houdini. Las Leyes del Asombro was the first exhibit in which I got to assist Telefónica Ecuador by leading the development of a set of interactives to reinforce the content displayed in the exhibit. The whole project was carried under the guidance and supervision of Telefónica Spain.

Augmented and Virtual Reality were used to implement two of the experiences for the exhibit. The AR application was developed using Unity and Vuforia and allowed visitors to augment posters from various of Houdini's performances. The VR experience immersed the visitors inside an old theater where they could watch original videos of some of Houdini's greatest magic tricks. Unreal Engine was used to put together this experience and packaged it as a mobile app that could be run on Samsung Gear VR headsets.

Two additional experiences were developed using the Leap Motion and a Kinect sensor:

The Leap Motion was used to provide visitors with an experience in which they could control de display of 4 videos on 4 different screen by using hand gestures in the air. A circle gesture would switch videos to the next available screen, either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the direction of the gesture. A close hand gesture would scale down the videos to make them disappear from the screens, and an open hand gesture would scale them up again. A central computer running Processing would read the Leap Motion sensor and send OSC to 4 RaspberryPi (one for each screen) running Openframeworks in order to synchronize the effects to take place on the screens depending on the hand gestures made by the user.

The Kinect was used to implement an interactive experience in which a digital straitjacket would be superimposed on top of the visitor's digital image captured by the Kinect Camera. Visitors would then have to start moving as trying to escape from the straitjacket. A timer displayed on the screen would help build some of the suspense that Houdini created around his famous escape tricks.

The client was very happy with the experiences developed for the exhibit, and the comments from Spain were all on the positive side. We were immediately asked to be in charge of everything regarding technology for the next exhibits to take place at Espacio Fundación Telefónica - Quito.