What did I just play with? What were those swinging spheres all about? And how was it made?

CEBIT Australia is all about making connections! Because human connections are (still) everything. Especially in business.

As well as connections, of course CEBIT is also about technology and the way we all interact with it everyday.

It is these two themes that we combined to create a living example of how technology can provide playful, immersive experiences while at the same time telling us something interesting or useful.

We call it Kinector – an interactive sculptural animation powered by generative code that celebrates the idea of different professions connecting at CEBIT and at the same time offers data insights into who is attending and their reasons.

An experiment in generative coding, data insight and fun

The work is the result of a collaboration between leading German generative code artist Patrik Hubner and CEBIT Australia’s local communication strategists, Permission.

Generative design is a relatively new art-form in which the output – image, sound, architectural models or digital animation – is dynamically generated by a set of creative algorithms and artificial intelligence-based coding. This enthralling new practice is starting to create a buzz around the globe with businesses eager to capitalise on the new technology to display information more dynamically.

With ‘connections’ as the starting point, Permission and Huebner used Newton’s Cradle as their inspiration. The famous device demonstrates momentum and energy transfer using a series of swinging, connecting spheres – and doubles up as one of the world’s most recognisable office desk ornaments!

The team rendered a series of hanging spheres that represent the most common professions attending the event; each sphere is sized relative to the numbers of attendees from each profession.

The viewer can interact with these in different ways, pushing them into each other to create connections (a live ‘connections counter’ makes a game of this) or linking them together to form groups.

Additionally, users can click the spheres (i.e. professions) to see live anonymised data about the composition of the selected group. This will be drawn from registrations to display real-time insights.

Realistic lighting and shadow effects add to the drama and users can drag the scene around to view it from any angle or click a button to change the whole colour scheme.  Despite being built on algorithms, there are always surprises as the art is uniquely generated each time the script is run, the page is loaded, or the user interacts with it. The artwork becomes a collaboration between artist-coder, computer and user. The code controls some aspects of it, but not all of them.

Because after all, every visitor to CEBIT should be able to create the experience they want!

Strategy and Creative direction  https://permission.com.au/

Design and code https://www.patrik-huebner.com/

Business connections that inspired us – and changed the world

Sure, operators like Elon Musk might present themselves as solo mavericks, but the reality is that partnerships are pretty much a universal ingredient of outstanding successes.

Whether through exchanging new information or sharing a new perspective, inspiration happens when ideas are exchanged. And the results can be magic…

When Ben met Jerry, a great ice cream business was born. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak gave the world touch technology, and touched us all. It’s unclear how William Procter and James Gamble decided which name would appear first, while Bill Hewlett and David Packard flipped a coin! Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t even like each other when they first met, according to some, but Google arrived nonetheless.

Finding connections, making them, profiting from them both personally and in business … and maybe, just maybe, changing the world as a result of making one.

That’s CEBIT’s mission. And we brought it to life with advanced coding in Kinector


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