The world of interfaces continues to evolve and surprise us. We still think of it as something we can hold, fold and place in our bag to carry anywhere. What if you can be part of an intuitive and holistic experience where your interface is not reduced to a mouse-click or a two dimensional tablet screen. It is every tech-freak’s dream to be embedded into a system to experience a full-throttle digital world.
The Immersive Cocoon is neither a commercial product nor a viral marketing campaign for a high-tech brand. Instead, this giant bubble filled with technology is a well-developed concept intending to transform our conception of digital interfaces and virtual environments. The Cocoon opens its hatch silently and extends a small set of stairs that helps you move into this 360 degree display covering the entire interior walls. Inside you can sit, lean, and accommodate an adjustable work surface depending on how your imagination desires to utilize the Immersive Cocoon.
The work of designer Tino Schaedler and design-and-ad firm NAU, the Ultimate Entertainment Pod can be leased to corporations for remote working solutions and internal communication. It can also end up in public places such as airport lounges. Its simulation allows you to do anything recreational, educational and be anywhere you chose to be and be with anyone you want to be through video conferencing. It features a 3D motion tracking system developed by John Underkoffler, a former fellow of the MIT Media Lab.
To illustrate their initiative, the creators of Immersive Cocoon shot an original video trailer, embedded below, inspired by the ultimate scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Immersive Digital Experiences
Imagine a digital experience that is intuitive and holistic, where your interface is not reduced to a mouse click and two-dimensional analog of a writing desk. A surround display dome complemented by the sophisticated motion-sensing software that inspired the technology depicted in the film ‘Minority Report’. With natural, intuitive movements, your entire body becomes the interface.
Imagine instead of a screen, a visual-audio environment that envelops you. Recreating the three-dimensional space we perceive in our everyday lives. Where work and play become more concentrated and enjoyable and allow one to depart on journeys you never thought possible. This is the promise of the Immersive Cocoon, a concept study for an advanced digital environment.
While a select number of Cocoons could be leased to corporations for remote working solutions and internal communication, many will find their way into airport lounges and other public spaces. These units can be pre-booked or rented on-the-go with a laptop or smart phone. With a few quick touches, inputing your entry code on the Cocoon’s seamlessly integrated external touch pad, wil unlock the worlds the Immersive Cocoon has to offer.
The entry hatch silently slides open while the stairs extend. Inside one is greeted by a sophisticated 360° display covering the interior walls. The adaptable furnishings provide a place to recline, sit or call up an adjustable work surface. As the wrap-around display glows with activity, motion tracking cameras transform the Cocoon from a passive display into an active partner. Sensing your progress while leading you through educational, relaxation or fitness routines. Escape to far off temples, initiate an office video conference or challenge friends in an online gaming forum. Imagination is your only limit.
LEARN AND EXPLORE
The Cocoon’s unparalleled environment simulation allows for learning at all ages. Places that are inaccessible or lost to time are instantly recreated; users can visit sunken Egyptian tombs, stroll through a recreated Pompeii or wander across a Martian landscape. Children can tour the Amazon jungle with a digital guide, teaching them about the biosphere and its inhabitants. Facts about plants, animals and geography can be called-up by simply pointing at them. The act of discovery motivates users and increases their learning retention.
Enjoy a yoga, martial arts or stretching routine with a one-on-one coach; the 3D surround display provides you with virtual peers that encourage you to keep going, while a life-sized coach uses the chamber’s motion sensors to evaluate your progress and provide gentle corrections to your form. Here the Cocoon’s individual controls can track your pulse and make sure the temperature and oxygen levels remain just as the user likes them.
With full 3D surround sound and graphics as well as native internet connectivity, the Cocoon is the ultimate gaming environment to challenge friends from around the world. If action games aren’t your fancy, why not try next-generation karaoke where you can play an air guitar with a virtual band or sing to an adoring, interactive concert crowd.
Whether part of your recuperation routine between flights or simply a quick break from the intensity of today’s urban street, the Immersive Cocoon offers a variety of calming or exhilitrating experiences. Take a break, activate one of the multiple relaxation and rejuvenation programs, let the Cocoon do the rest. A varied lighting and audio sequence will wash away the day’s stress, awaken your senses and give you new energy and focus.
Many of us have dreamed of working remotely from a house in the countryside, or staying better connected when we travel. The Cocoon offers a virtual office where all of the subtle and instantaneous interaction of the traditional workplace is recreated. People from around the world can work together starting up a live conference as easily as you’d tap a colleague on the shoulder. Further the Cocoon’s media-rich interface area lets users track large amounts of information, while its gesture driven navigation makes work more intuitive and efficient.
At the core of Immersive Cocoon is the 3D motion tracking system developed by John Underkoffler, a former fellow of the MIT Media Lab. This system, which inspired technology seen in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Minority Report’, will track users’ arm, hand and leg positions with a series of motion tracking cameras imbedded in the display dome and via a sensor pad on the floor.
Monitoring these points allows realistic motion of the user to be recreated in virtual space and lets the user navigate menus through predetermined hand gestures or voice commands. These movements are fed through compact processor units in the base, and the visual output on the LED display domes is refreshed instantly. Users can fight a kung-fu game or swim through a sea of jellyfish, with the display responding in realtime with surround vision.
Oliver Zeller (Immersive Cocoon “2011″ Director)