Interactivity is a common feature in immersive experiences, though it does not need to be complex to be engaging. An early example is the Mimetic Starfish which featured in the Mind Zone of the Millennium Dome exhibition. The starfish interacted in a life-like manner with attendees, reaching out a tentacle towards their hands and jumping back if they moved too quickly.

Attendees were surprised and delighted by the Mimetic Starfish; an example of immersive technologies that resonates over two decades later. Behind the projection, software written in C++ simulates the 3D properties of muscles, skin and a neural net to create an organic form with life-like behaviour. A hidden infra-red camera detects the visitor’s hands, which the virtual starfish reacts to. Attempting to stroke the skin of the virtual starfish causes it to quiver and pulse a variety of colours.

To learn more about the inner workings of this wonder visit here.

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