Merry Mush Mash

Rhythm HQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is blessed with an impressive turret.

The highly technical control system

At Christmas, we brought it to life in an alarming display of disparate face parts. The idea was for people on the street to manipulate a wall of videos using their smartphones, creating some entertaining and vaguely festive video visages to upset passers by.

The Rhythm turret in full effect

How do you make a video wall controllable by anyone with a smartphone? Well you use our PlayNow tech. Users just enter a url in their phone’s web browser and use the HTML 5 interface to mess with the videos on turret. Find out how PlayNow works, and what else you can use it for (it’s not just for creating terrifying face based projections).

We managed to blag and borrow a pair of projectors which we hooked up to some 3D projection mapping software we created especially for this project. We set one up in our turret windows and borrowed the turret window of our downstairs neighbours Dorothy. Thanks to Charla at Dorothy for lending us her face for some of the videos. It reduced the beard quotient by a factor of 10.

You may well be asking why the hell we’d do something like this. Here are some reasons:

a) It’s stupid, fun and nobody else has ever done anything like this
b) We got to develop our own 3d projection mapping code
c) We worked out how to sync up two projectors running on two separate laptops over wi-fi

Out of those 3, A sums up Rhythm’s philosophy and B and C will undoubtably get used on some client project in the future. We’re thinking something like this would look amazing in a huge shop window.

Oblivious pedestrians resolutely fail to look upwards, for fear of becoming astounded
The view from inside the Rhythm office was in many ways more frightening than the view from outside

Here it is in action:

Ho ho ho. A Merry Mush Mash was had by all.