Lab Releases Max5 Object for Laser Rangefinder

V2_Lab has developed open source software for using the "Laser Measurement System" in Max 5, which facilitates interaction in media installations.

Interaction is central to many of the media installations presented and developed at V2_. An artist often wants to know the audience or viewer’s position in the room in order to optimize an interaction’s effect. People can be “tracked” in a room, for example using cameras, a sensor grid, or distance and motion meters. The method chosen depends on the kind of installation and the circumstances. Many artists seek to make interaction as natural as possible: the technology and sensors should not disturb the experience but should be “transparent.”

The works Probe by Boris Debackere and Run Motherfucker Run by Marnix de Nijs employed a distance meter that determined the viewer’s position by means of a rotating laser. This laser measurement system was built by the company SICK. Media artists’ ability to use this sensor in their installations was limited, however, by the lack of accessible software for connecting this LIDAR system (which works in a way comparable to RADAR) to a user-friendly programming system.

V2_Lab software developer Artm Baguinski has therefore written software making it possible to use the laser measurement system in the popular programming environment Max 5 through a simple interface.

Artm says, “The source code we are now offering as open source gives artists who do their own programming a better understanding of the system’s possibilities than the manufacturer’s original manual. Artists can now look at the code and adapt the system to their own purposes. I hope that artists will come to V2_ and work with the system. The LIDAR’s price is still an obstacle, but I expect that it will go down in the foreseeable future and that secondhand systems will be available from the big research institutions.“ 


Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) instruments provide a fast and accurate way to track objects in 2 dimensions. V2_Lab's v2_max.sick.lms100 object for Max5 makes the SICK's LMS100 LIDAR available inside this popular media programming environment. 

View the v2_max.sick.lms100 object for Max 5.


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