Anticlockwise, a San Francisco interactive art collective debuted their Animated Sandbox at the 2013 Maker Faire and to say that children of all ages dug it would be an understatement.
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The group used a depth-sensing Kinect camera to map the terrain of the "sand," then projected that topography on an overhead screen. The lowest level, appropriately, was sea level, so on sceen, viewers watched as blue water filled in any deep valleys that were carved in the sand. As the terrain levels got higher, the projection went from water, to sandy shores, to green grass and trees. At the highest peaks of sand, viewers saw snow-capped mountains. The effect was quite hypnotic, dare I say God-like.
"We had a vision for an interactive, terrain morphing playground," one of the creators, Richared DDT, told Discovery News. "We wanted people, in real time, to be able to create a landscape and a world and have them feel that sense of creation and have it in a perspective where you can view it from multiple angles."