Check out Syndyn - the Artistic Sports Game.

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This is one of those projects that is almost impossible to put into words. Introducing Syndyn - a 3kta concept that "merges aesthetics, physical activity and entertainment." The basic idea here is that Syndyn can take any sport - whether it is soccer, tennis, basketball, football - and turn it into an instrument for artistic expression. It's like an art installment that is "powered" by human physical involvement. Check out the video:

In this video, you see how Syndyn works when interfaced with a game of racquetball. With Syndyn, the players control all the audiovisual effects that happen during the game. The rackets (and the players themselves) are outfitted with EL wire and the shuttlecock has a bright LED attached. The rackets also have sensors which transmit data to a central computer. When the racket strikes the shuttlecock, it tells the computer which sound to play (based upon which "mode" is selected on an iPod controlled interface).

Furthermore, there is a camera which can take long exposure images to document the game. This basically allows the users to "paint" using their "instruments" (in this case a racket and shuttlecock). The result is some pretty stunning photographs. Beautiful project. Read more about it at this website.

Comments 14 comments

  • Surprised that there were no light saber effects.

    • Its says you can apply this to "any" sport, so I suppose you could apply it to fencing... or even light saber fencing...

  • How very Tron.

  • This is very technically cool. BUT! I don't even listen to music when I work out at the gym. Sensor overload. I can't believe that you could focus on your sport with that going on in the background. Maybe this is not a great app for technology. I guess time will tell.

  • This technique could lend itself well to synchronizing a musical soundtrack to a game in real time. Don't some video games do that? If done well, it could enhance the game while requiring a minimum of setup: wireless sensors on rackets, if the players are already wearing bluetooth-equipped heart rate monitors or shoes, pull information from them, embedded computer with mp3 player and music loops, and wireless (bluetooth?) connection to an amp and speakers.

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  • See also Robert Rauschenberg's Open Score from 1966, where special tennis rackets were outfitted to amplify the sound of their action as well as control large lights within the space. It was part of the 9 Evenings series of events at the NYC Armory that involved collaborations with well-known artists like Rauschenberg, John Cage, David Tudor, Yvonne Rainer, and others with Bell Labs engineers for one of the first large-scale public displays of electronic art.

  • Watching the video again, isn't this the game they play in Star Trek:tNG?
    edit: Is EL wire thin/strong enough to string a racket with? I doubt it.

  • It is badminton. I think it is a very novel concept. It looks like a ton of set-up, though. I like the "painting", especially what looks like blue flames from the EL wires. I think they would do better to focus on one game, like badminton, squash, or racquetball, instead of claiming it can be adapted for any game. It just sounds like they have only implemented badminton, but are trying to blanket every sport possible.
    I would be most impressed if they created a whole NEW game entirely with this idea. So that it became something new, instead of a modification to something old.
    Imagine a squash game where the walls had projections on them, like a sort of 'augmented reality' where the walls 'exploded', or some other effect, where the ball hits. Or a single player racquetball where targets would appear on the walls that you'd have to hit with the ball. You could also use glow in the dark balls for added effect. 3tka, are you getting all this? :)

    • Sort of a cross between squash and Arkanoid?

      • That is a really cool idea!

      • That sounds like a good project. This looks like three intro to electronics projects frankensteined together and presented as convergence. without any interaction between the elements it's two guys in burningman suits hitting a shuttlecock in front of a windows 95 screensaver. I don't get it. (if it weren't presented as art I'd be a lot more willing to focus on the "coolness")

      • Brilliant! Yeah, something like that!

  • Looks more like Badminton than raquetball... Raquetball rackets with badminton rules and shuttlecock I suppose

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