“What is real? How do you define real?” (Matrix 1999)
This is a simple yet profound question. Forming the answer to this question has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Simulated Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Brain-Computer Interface, Uncanny Valley, Transhumanism, Cyberpunk, Hyperreal, and Post Truth, etc. These ideas emerging one after another in technology, fiction, philosophy and sociology continue to blur the boundaries of reality and unreality. Our world is entering the era of “Post Reality” and it is considered that we are getting ready to accept it.
In such an ever changing world, we are also trying to make a challenge. Is it possible to fuse reality and unreality in front of your eyes to create a new, yet natural, “The Reality X”? To achieve this goal, we have decided to focus on manipulating the light. Assuming that visual recognition consists of interaction of light, matter, dynamics and perception, manipulating the light at the speed exceeding the perceptual range to control the reality can be a promising approach. Based on this concept, we have developed a black and white projector which switches images at 1000 times per second, linked it to a sensing system which runs at the same speed, and attempted to fuse digital appearance and deforming or moving physical objects.
To take this challenge to the next level, we developed a new high speed projector capable of switching 8bit color images at 947 fps, DynaFlash v2 (3-LED+1-DMD). We also developed a new tracking system capable of recognizing non-rigid deformation three-dimensionally at high speed and in wide range by using 10 cameras. The capacity of the dynamic projection mapping linking these components is not limited to fusing colorful unrealistic texture to reality. It can freely reproduce gloss and unevenness of non-existing materials by adaptively controlling the projected image based on the three-dimensional structure and motion of the applicable surface.
As a physical phenomenon, the state added by this sensing display deviates from reality. The results, however, produce little inconsistencies in light, matter, dynamics and perception in our senses. If you watch our demonstration video, you will probably feel it is difficult to shrug off what we see just because it is not real.
DynaFlash v2 and Post Reality. Fusion of reality and unreality. What is reality and where is the boundary to unreality? I hope that the results of this study will not only evolve the technology performance but also bring the meaning and further opportunity for creating a new real world that includes both chaos and order.