Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Liquid Pixel: Interview
How do you turn a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a giant water tank, and 408 pumps into a work of art? We find out
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is without a doubt the handset to showcase creativity on. It uses Wacom’s touch pen technology to give its S Pen pressure sensitive, precise input.
In the latest of a string of creative projects surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Break Free campaign, a studio here in London, Steak, was called upon to create a piece of work around this S Pen-centric phone.
We interview the brains behind the operation, Daniel Kupfer and Penelope Grabowski.
Could you give us some background on the project?Samsung approached us through Jam, they were looking to do another sequence of the Break Free campaign and they came in to do a studio visit. They were looking to get involved with an artist with some more innovation related work. So that’s why our company, Steak were suggested.We pretty much combined an idea we’d looked into with the Note 2 and the S Pen. We had the water tank, pumps and messaging concept, but it was when we incorporated into the phone that it really took off, becoming a journey we could capture on film.You wrote the Android app on the Galaxy Note 2, how did you find the process?I was really surprised, because I was working with libraries, it was really quick and easy to create the app. I’ve never worked with Android before but with all the libraries available, it’s about as plug and play as you can get.Could you outline the what goes on in the sequence from when the user starts drawing on the Note 2?You have the software on the phone that has a full grid with all the pumps mapped. The phone is constantly sending the whole array to a computer. The computer is connected to the pumps. If you touch a grid point on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the computer receives this, activates the appropriate pump and fires. So now you’ve nailed it on this scale and with this technology, where do you see yourselves taking it in the future?Incorporating RGB light to each one of the pixels would be one direction. The other thing that’s exciting us would be controlling the height of the jet. The pumps can go higher than 300mm, so if we make this variable, we could move into 3D modelling territory.So what were the limitations of this particular installment?We would like to do it completely wirelessly in the future. We were also limited to the number of pumps. The way it was set up would have made it very difficult to get more than 500 pumps in place. As we got 408 in there we were close to capacity so to get more pixels in place would take more than the 10 days we had to put this project together.Finally, would you use Android, specifically a Note 2, in any more of your creative projects?We already are.
On that Note, we’ll be keeping our beady eye on Steak Studio where we’ll hopefully see the next evolution of the liquid pixel in the future.
In the meantime, enjoy the video below and see if you recognise a certain writer tinkering with the tech at 01:42.