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The Reactive Cube


The Reactive Cube is a volumetric display, combining qualities of analog and digital media in a single form. It was made to be a platform for creative expression, encouraging open-ended ‘drawing’ into a medium that inspires playful interaction.



By mixing water and a specially developed oil, volumetric extrusions are produced using white light from a video projector. Micron-sized particles of white oil suspended in the water capture the light, producing an intense glow, given a bluish tinge through a natural phenomena called the ‘Tyndall effect’.

The interactivity is intended to be as transparent as the display, using machine vision technology to recognize hand gestures, and interpreting these movements into animated patterns. A larger cube is in development, with plans to build experiences that respond to 2 Leap Motion devices, enabling the platform to be used for competitive games and collaborative animations.

The first version of the Cube was created in collaboration with Tom Roope of London design agency Tomato Interactive, and Andy Allenson of Romandson. We took it to Singapore to be exhibited as part of the International Designer’s Network conference (IDN Magazine). It was also shown in Tokyo and has been featured in Design Week magazine. The Reactive Cube was recently developed with Karen Marcelo into “Project Open Cube”,  generously supported by Stochastic Labs in Berkeley, California.




Tom Roope: http://www.trr.tv/

Leap Motion: https://www.leapmotion.com/

Tyndall Effect on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyndall_effect

Open Cube was developed with Karen Marcello: http://karenmarcelo.org/

Funding was  provided by Stochastic Labs: http://www.stochasticlabs.org/