Interactivity & Visualisation

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Posted by Mica on April 23, 2019 in Concept & Research, Design Inspiration

How to create an interactive whisky tasting experience?
To answer this question I scheduled a meeting with my program director Jules Rawlinson.

This meeting arose the following questions:

  1. What kind of situation are you viewing yourself with it in?
  2. Is Augmented Reality (AR) the right medium of choice.
  3. How do you know the whisky has been tasted?
  4. How will it go beyond a marketing gimmick?

1. The whisky experience scenario

The ideal scenario so far is a big venue with stands on 3 sided of the venue. Each stand has a piece of art hanging on the wall and a whisky cocktail matched with the whisky, the art and colours used for each spot. An experience melting whisky, art and music into one harmonic composition. All blurred together with the usage of AR which is also guiding the participant in a flowing transition from one stand to the other.

2. AR as the right medium of choice

This question was mainly asked by myself. Augmented reality has its limitations especially when it comes to the field of vision and immersive character. The Hololens 1 provides an immersive character but the limited field of view of only 30 degrees width (1) clearly limits this immersion.
Looking for real vision examples of the Hololens 1 also confirmed these awakening limitation.

When considering a mobile phone as another option for AR Jules Rawlinson mentioned a concern about being distracted by the device itself when viewing AR installations through it. My goal, however, is to intensify the whisky experience not to distract people from it…

There are great examples using indoors projection mapping which creates a whole new immersive world such as the installations created by Dotdotdot London (2) who created a world of sleepless dreams in their show ‘Somnai’ (3).

Dotdotdot London – Projection mapping used for the Somnai experience (3)

But can projection mapping concentrate the focus on the whisky? Or will it distract form the actual drink?

3. Implementing interactivity

What is the best way to implement interactivity in the experience? How can I create a reaction to the behaviour of the user? How can I tell when to guide the user from one area to the other?
Jules Rawlinson mentioned the idea of an interactive whisky glass. A great idea which enables me to react to the different stages of tasting the whisky.

Sensors as the solution:

Yann Seznec (4), a former student of the University of Edinburgh, is constantly creating interactive sound systems by using various sensors turning normal devices, such as salad bowls into music instruments.

Sensor I could use for creating an interactive whisky glass could ultrasonic sensors or the .

However, sensors require a more detailed research which I will foucs on in the upcoming weeks.

4. Beyond marketing gimmicks

Talking about abstract forms and visualisation of the whisky combined with the art Jules Rawlinson presented a few fantastic examples as inspiration for my future project. Such as a surreal experience by Marshmallow Laser Feast, called ‘Iteota Teaser’ (5), in which they created LiDar scans of a forrest and manipulated the images in various ways.

Iteota teaser

Further examples where the Kinect Point Cloud visualisation which makes it possible to create a real time Virtual Reality experience or a video recreating a Kandinsky Composition (7).

What is my research behind this project?

What will I examine to make it more valuable?


  1. James Ashley. MAGIC LEAP ONE VS HOLOLENS V1 COMPARISON. 8.10.2018. (viewed 19.03.2019)
  2. DotDotDot. SOMNAI. (viewed 19.03.2019)
  3. Guy Campos. PROJECTION ARTWORK PUTS FINAL TOUCH TO DREAM-THEMED SHOW. 12.3.2018. (viewed 19.03.2019)
  4. Yann Seznec, (viewed 19.03.2019)
  5. Marshmallow Laser Feast. ITEOTA TEASER. (viewed 19.03.2019)
  6. Baushaus. Kandinsky Composition. (viewed 19.03.2019)

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