This work is for an interactive installation which generates sound and video. The background concept and methodology of this piece is similar to "A BeadBall Table." The main installation is a table with one leg which can be tilted by the users' touch. On top of the table, an image of Todd (a virtual being) is projected from the video projector which is hung under the ceiling. If the user tilts the tabletop, Todd slides towards the down-leaning corner of table. In "A BeadBall Table," the ball is a passive object with a simple round shape. In Cross-Being: Todd, the virtual character becomes a more complicated entity, embodying human-like behaviors and emotional expressions in his actions on the screen. For example, if nobody touches the table, Todd gets bored and sits down at the center of the screen. If users disturb him for too long, Todd gets angry. Because of Todd's changing behavior, we needed to provide a more flexible and articulated content structure than was needed for the virtual beads. The video image and the corresponding sound are generated using Max and Jitter.
Tilting table uses an accelerometer (a sensor for measuring gravity) for detecting the movement of the tabletop in response to user actions. The accelerometer communicates the tilt-angle values to a PIC micro-controller, which then delivers those values to a computer via either MIDI or serial communication. Computer-driven real-time images are transformed by the input and displayed on the tilting table surface by a ceiling-mounted projector.
Mechanically, differently from the use of a ball-joint in "A BeadBall Table," the joint for this tabletop exploits a spring. These two joints have different traits: with the ball-joint, the tabletop remains in the last position that the user left it; the spring, because of its resiliency, returns the tabletop screen to its original position after the user’s interaction.