Dok Kim has never personally done any graffiti. The thrill of traversing a rooftop or subway tunnel at night with a backpack full of cans is not quite his cup of tea. Yet, as a programmer, he’s pushing the art of graffiti into another dimension—literally. As part of MIT MediaLab’s Fluid Interface Group, Kim has developed SPrAyCE, a Kinect hack that enables the user to create 3D graffiti. The name SPrAyCE is a contraction of “spray” and “space.”
To use SPrAyCE, the user holds a can packed with an Arduino board, a joystick, and a cap-like button in one hand. Using hand tracking, the user’s movements are recorded and transcribed. The virtual paint sprayed out becomes a floating object that you can explore by walking around it. Colors are selected according to the angle of the right arm and the left hand works as an eraser. Finally, the movement of the user’s eyes also effects way each creation appears.
This short video shows Kim using the device, and he is by no means an expert. We can’t wait to see this tool in the skilled hands of an experienced graffiti artist. The possibilities seem to be infinite when you’re painting in 3D in midair. Kim also has lots more ideas for future projects in this vein. “It would be marvelous to draw localized interfaces, for example, drawing a play button on my couch that will actually be detected by my Kinect and start my TV. I’m now trying to create a link between SPrAyCE and BeeProxy, another project of mine which is basically an app to exchange small services.” says Kim.