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Making OLEDs and LEDs Interactive
Photograph by Chris Brooks
Photograph by Chris Brooks
Hannes Koch
Principal, Random International

Koch, 34, and his cofounders Florian Ortkrass, 34, and Stuart Wood, 29, are designing art that transforms LED and OLED technologies into interactive experiences.

"OLEDs offer a new way of engaging in light, so the idea of turning them on and off with a normal light switch, that's last-century thinking. By mixing camera tracking and gesture tracking with OLEDs, our You Fade to Light piece uses the human body to control the intensity and quality of the light. As soon as people understand that, they start moving in silly ways, dancing and quite generally enjoying themselves.

We see a huge potential for this kind of interaction to be implemented in our day-to-day environment. We're making a Swarm Light chandelier, which is three big LED cubes housing this object that reacts to sound. If you shout at it, the chandelier will shy away from you. It's really a basic piece of artificial intelligence, but we still call it a chandelier because a) people understand it better, and b) because it is."

A version of this article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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