The Technium

Tangible Bouncy Fun

These balls are cool and useless — my definition of art and fun. They are large rubber balloons with colored lights in them which change color when punched. Unleashed into a crowd, they hop along blinking and reacting to the crowd. They are primitive examples of the future of fun: audience participation and the merging of the tangible and informatics.

Here is a description from the maker’s website, Tangible Interaction Design:

ZYGOTE is a lightweight inflated ball, illuminated from within, that responds to pressure applied to its surface. Interacting with the ball is simple: punch it, bounce it, squeeze it, or tap it and the ball’s internal LEDs react instantaneously. Dozens of balls released to an energetic audience at a major music concert, transform the environment into a multi-sensorial, interactive playground, actively engaging the crowd in a shared experience. Each ball also can act as both an input and an output device by being networked to a central computer. This allows for more complex interaction, as the crowd can modify the graphics on a screen, make the balls light up in unison, or even affect the music.

Video that explains its mechanics and shows it in action.

Zygote Interactive Ball at BIP, Italy from Alex Beim on Vimeo.


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