I’m a huge fan of technology demos. When creative expression fuses with technology in a such a way as to excite, intrigue and capture the imagination of the viewer, the results can be spectacular. I think it is in this way that people can have a fuller understanding of the place technological invention has in our lives. Consider it the theater of the tech world.
Below are several of the best executed technology demos I’ve seen:
SUPERBIEN utilizes light projection technology on three-dimensional surfaces to create fantastic visuals with depth.
Sachiko Kodama’s “Morpho Towers – Two Standing Spirals” is a fusion of technology and music that results in a new kind of “kinetic sculpture”. The medium being manipulated in the video is called a “ferrofluid“, and strong magnets are being used to twist and move it into those shapes.
Most people are familiar with the existence of remote controlled aircrafts, especially with unmanned drones being a topic in the news from time to time. Most people don’t realize the level of sophistication we’ve reached when it comes to being able to control these things. Here’s a video where piloting an RC plane is almost a ballet.
Perhaps this works on more of a “sideshow” level than proper theater—Boston Dynamic’s “Big Dog” tech videos never fail to elicit a pretty visceral reaction from people who watch it. Whether this amazes you with its coordination or serves to make you uncomfortable due to the uncanny valley effect of it being “almost natural”, it WILL grab your attention.
You also have “concept demos”, which are not demonstrations of actual technologies but rather a vision of what could be. Essentially a combination of light projection, optical pickup, and with gameplay features of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, it’s not at all unlikely that something like this would be possible in the foreseeable future.
Here’s a bonus video from the same guys who did the “Future Rock Band” video.