Kinae is an experimental physical interface project, which explores new ways of including human senses in immersive experiences. A Virtual Reality Interactive Installation was projected in which the movement of a physical prototype is transposed to a virtual object of similar shape. The user can move freely in a virtual environment, while sensors in the physical environment alter the experience. Even though there are many available experiences nowadays, they are majorly focused on the vision and hearing, we wanted to experiment with other senses as well in this interactive environment.

The movement of a physical prototype is mirrored to a virtual object of the same size, shape and approximate weight to its digital counterpart, which provides parity between the tactile and visual experiences. The user can move freely across the room, stimulating the senses of kinesthesia and proprioception. Sensors linked to the environment, arranged to look like the virtual room with the experience in mind, provide interaction with the scene elements to alter the experience. With this installation, it was possible to create a modular system for the development of immersive technologies which offer an interaction with multiple senses with the use of a smartphone and well documented devices, sensors and platforms.

All the platforms used in the development of this project are free and/or open source, both in hardware as well as in software, which leaves an open opportunity for future improvements, either to project for a less capable hardware or to create a more sturdy experience, maintaining the low cost. Focused in the democratization of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies, both for developers as well as users, the project suits as a stimuli to academic research and cultural production on this area.

By Guto Pereira