Tuesday, 1:06pm
3 November 2009

Moving stuff

Are fifteen points of light enough to define your mood and gender?

It’s quite intriguing, or maybe galling, to discover that your way of walking can be expressed with just fifteeen points. Ivo Wessel’s little iPhone app Walker

(below) is based on research into motion studies carried out at the BioMotion Laboratory of Canada’s Queen's University.

Walker iPhone

We discovered it via the website (top) of the Otto Bock Science Center Medical for Technology in Berlin, where the Walker’s defining ‘outline’ – one point for each of the body’s joints – can be seen projected on the building’s outer walls (below). Façade and exhibition design by ART + COM, Berlin.

Science Center

A neat aspect of this app is that you can adjust a few parameters – between male and female, heavy and light, nervous and relaxed, happy and sad – to create the walker you want. Set it to ‘happy relaxed heavy male’ (top) and it looks like Baloo the bear from Jungle Book. Adjust to ‘sad nervous light female’ and … well we don’t know anyone who walks like that. Of course there’s no-one there, really, it’s just fifteen points of light.

Walker Bio Motion Lab

The version at the California’s Bio Motion Lab (above) adds a couple of extra features, including lines that join the dots (perhaps too literal/lateral, below).

Relaxed walker

Eye is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop. For a ‘page-flipping’ onscreen sample of the full printed magazine experience, try Eye before you buy.