So you walk down the street and suddenly the wall to your left starts sprouting flowers, drawings and other animations. You slow down to watch closely, and the animations slow down, too.
That's because you're controlling them. Although you may not realize it immediately, motion sensors and a camera have locked on to you and given you control over the interactive wall. That's how a new street-level ad by software maker Adobe works. The interactive wall, 7 feet (or about 2 meters) high and 15 feet wide, is part of a campaign to market Adobe's new Creative Suite 3 software package (which includes well-known programs such as Photoshop). It has been installed these days in New York's Union Square -- look for it along the wall of the Virgin Megastore building -- and, according to a NYTimes story (from which we borrowed the picture) it will soon be recreated in London:
The line at the bottom of the wall is actually a slider that moves with the controlling passer-by, unleashing more -- or less, depending on the movement -- creative juice (see it in action via this Gizmodo video).
Similar interactive walls, a mix of technology and art installation, are not new. However, this is possibly a first in a very busy street (and indeed, the movements of people in the background also affect the animation). When you walk by it, as we did today, it is not self-evident that you or one of the other pedestrians "control" the animation: it takes a moment, also because there is no visible explanation of how the wall works. But that may actually be Adobe's intended effect: people stop, wonder, talk, try to figure out, touch the slider (but that's no touch-screen), jump in front of the camera to see if it has any effect. In a word -- the current magic word of advertising -- they engage.