Helmut Höllerl (AT)
Dietmar Offenhuber (AT)
Erwin Reitböck (AT)
Peter Brandl (AT)
Pascal Maresch (AT) (CH)
Sam Auinger (AT)
Scott Ritter (AT) (US)

The Ars Electronica Futurelab was founded in 1996 as the R&D laboratory of the Ars Electronica Center. Its original field of activity—the development of new installations for the Museum of the Future—was soon expanded to encompass work in the areas that have become its specialties: Virtual Reality applications and the development of virtual worlds for the CAVE and interactive installations in collaboration with top-name artists and the clients commissioning these projects.

The Ars Electronica Futurelab is showcasing its best work in the “LabSpace” installation. The projects are being displayed on an innovative media platform that the Futurelab developed for the visualization of material such as cultural content being shown in an exhibition setting.

At a table, the user can navigate through the individual Futurelab works by means of gentle hand motions. An input device such as a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen is no longer necessary. To take a closer look at a certain project, the visitor merely brushes his/her hand over it and the pertinent information is displayed.

The especially interesting feature of this interface is its flexible set-up. Both the content as well as the instruments that facilitate interaction can be positioned anywhere in the exhibition space depending on the particular application. The sensors that transmit user activity information to the system can be mounted under any available surface (such as a table top) and the navigation information is then simply projected onto that particular surface.

The prototype of this installation was developed for the “Urbis” museum project in Manchester under the name “Imagining.”