Lifeblood And Beta Tank Bubble-Based 'Stereo Tanks'

Lifeblood is an unusual bubble-tank imaging system created by artist Stephanie Andrews. Lifeblood was exhibited at the G2 gallery in Chicago. Beta Tank is a more recent project that emphasizes more precise bubble "texting."


(Lifeblood bubble tank sculpture)

Lifeblood consists of a large tank of water; bubbles are released from 64 valves at the bottom of the tank. The valves are controlled by computer program/MIDI control board.

The software orchestrates the release of the bubbles, using them as "pixels." Directional lighting causes the bubble "pixels" to shine. The bubbles form recognizable forms as they float upward; when the bubbles pop at the surface of the tank, the image decays. Microphones record the chaotic image decay and relay it to surround speakers in the exhibit walls.

This creation is an alternative three-dimensional imaging system that plays with the inherently beautiful qualities of air and water. The animated visual and auditory rhythms of Lifeblood are a meditation on the essential importance of these elements. This piece emphasizes the highlights that occur on the delicate surfaces of the bubbles. drawing attention to the rich borderlands where the two elements are brought in contact with each other.

Beta Tank is a similar project created by Daniel Kupfer and Eyal Burstein. I like the Lifeblood project better because it is a 3D display, but Beta Tank has some excellent engineering behind it. The biggest challenge for the designers was to overcome the problem of "drafting" (the first bubble experiences more friction and eventually the next bubble in the series catches up with the first and the image is ruined). To fix the problem, Beta-tank uses a highly viscous liquid similar to shampoo in order to obtain a workable refresh rate.


(Beta Tank texting [video in HTML frame])

The reason I put the phrase "stereo tank" in the title to this article is to honor Robert Heinlein's stereo tank from his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land:

"If we don't show the Man from Mars in the stereo tanks pretty shortly, you'll have riots on your hands, Mr. Secretary."
(Read more about Heinlein's stereo tank)

He also refers to it as a stereovision in what is probably the earliest description of a "screensaver" that you are likely to find.

Stephanie Andrews is a University of Washington graduate; her current research involves creating sculptural work from motion-capture data, alternative platforms for multi-dimensional kinetic animation, and nanograffiti. Read more about her at stephnet and more about lifeblood. See also the cool beta tank video. Thanks to Reg.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/23/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Display ")

Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.

Cicret Makes Your Skin Into A Display
'On the translucent mica-like coverings over the orifices, appeared reddish characters...' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...' - John Varley, 1992.

Samsung Patent For Smart Contact Lens Camera Granted
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.