[Image: Screen grab via military.com].
This new, partly digital sand table interface
developed for military planning
would seem to have some pretty awesome uses in an architecture or landscape design studio.
Using 3D terrain data—in the military's case, gathered in real-time from its planetary network of satellites—and a repurposed Kinect sensor, the system can adapt to hand-sculpted transformations in the sand by projecting new landforms and elevations down onto those newly molded forms.
You can thus carve a river in real-time through the center of the
and watch as projected water flows in—
[Image: Screen grabs via military.com].
—or you can simply squeeze sand together into new hills, and even make a volcanic crater. [Image: Screen grabs via military.com].
The idea of projecting adaptive landscape imagery down onto a sandbox is brilliant; being able to interact with both the imagery and the sand itself by way of a Kinect sensor is simply awesome.
Imagine scaling this thing up to the size of a children's playground, and you'd never see your kids again, lost in a hypnotic topography of Minecraft
-like possibilities, or just donate some of these things to a landscape design department and lose several hours (weeks?) of your life, staring ahead in a state of geomorphic Zen at this touchscreen landscape of rolling hills and valleys,
readymade rivers and a thousand on-demand plateaus.
The military, of course, uses it to track and kill people, filling their
with projections of targeting coordinates and geometric representations of tanks. [Image: Screen grabs via military.com].
But there's no reason those coordinates couldn't instead be the outlines of a chosen site for your proposed architecture project, or why those little clusters of trucks and hidden snipers couldn't instead be models of new buildings or parks you're hoping will be constructed. Watch the original video
for more. (Spotted via the Quartz Daily Brief).