Control Your Computer While Playing In The Mud

 

Control Your Computer While Playing In The Mud

By Suzie Wong | April 8th, 2012 | Discuss

The MudTubThe MudTub

The MudTub is an experimental organic interface by Tom Gerhardt that allows people to control a computer while playing in the mud. Gerhardt says, “By sloshing, squishing, pulling, punching, etc, in a tub of mud (yes, wet dirt), users control games, simulators, and expressive tools. Born out of a motivation to close the gap between our bodies and the digital world, the Mud Tub frees the traditional computer interaction model of its rigidity, allowing humans to use their highly developed sense of touch and gesture in a more natural way.”

The Mud Tub occupies a space similar to other experimental human-computer interfaces, like, multi-touch surfaces, body controllers, augmented reality systems, etc, which push the boundaries of codified interaction models, and drive the development of innovative software applications.

Tom Gerhardt explains further: “With my most current work, the Mud Tub, I am particularly excited to see the impact mud has on an user’s attitude toward interacting with computers; they instantly seem to “feel at home,” as if they had found something missing. This spark I see in people is what keeps my research into organic interfaces moving forward; next, I plan to expand upon the case study applications, initially developed for the Mud Tub, by forming collaborations with artists and designers who can provide rich content for the Mud Tub via it’s API built on top of the open source platform Processing. The future is exciting.”

Tom Gerhardt is an internationally recognized artist and designer who works across a broad range of disciplines, for example the Frameographer; and is one-half of Studio Neat. As a hardware and software developer at Potion, Tom helped create interactive installations for some of the Nation’s most prestigious museums and retail spaces. As an artist, Tom’s work seeks to reconcile modern man’s dual citizenship in the physical and digital worlds. ???

 

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