Jul 8, 2012

PO-MO, a creative group that combines digital art, interaction, movement, and play to create engaging surfaces and spaces.

I recently learned more  PO-MO, a relatively new start-up tech company based in Winnipeg, Canada. According to the company's information, PO-MO "specializes in interactive digital display solutions, including gesture and motion based interactivity, interactive display content creation and management, and large interactive display and projection services for advertisers, educators, and events."  

Po-Motion was a finalist in an elevator pitch video contest last fall. It has several advantages over potential competitors.  The system is easy to use, and priced within the range that is affordable for schools, museums, and other cost-conscious groups who would like to provide technology-supported immersive interactive experiences for people of all ages.  The PO-MOtion software designed for interactive floors and walls starts at $39.99, and works on any computer, using any USB web camera and a projector. Other applications make use of Kinect sensors.

I especially like one of PO-MO's recent projects, the Impossible Animals Museum Exhibit, created using Unity 3-D, for the Manitoba Children's Museum.  How does it work?  Children create a colored egg using crayons and paper, which is then scanned into the exhibit and digitally embedded into the system, which includes an interactive wall and floor.  When the egg is touched, it is activated to hatch, and then becomes a motion reactive animal.  The environment includes things like water, landscapes, and even a spaceship.  The system has a "reset world" button for museum staff to use when needed.  

Impossible Animals Exhibit

Impossible Animals Interactive Museum Installation from PO-MO Inc. on Vimeo.

The following video explains how the PO-MO system works:

PO-MO is also involved in promotional projects, assisting retailers, ad agencies, and brand managers with creative ways to engage customers and clients:
Ragpackers Kinect-based Window Display

Ragpickers Kinect Window Display from PO-MO Inc. on Vimeo.

The following video provides a scrolling description about PO-MO's work, including promising data collected during implementation:

Other products and services provided by PO include mobile app development. I especially like the augmented reality business card depicted in the following video clip:

Augmented Reality Business Card from PO-MO Inc. on Vimeo

Imagine if your local shopping centers, museums, libraries, or even schools offered this level of immersive interaction on a regular basis!

The PO-MOtion system has a wide range of uses. It is currently used in an educational setting in a sensory room for students with special needs, something that I'd like to try out in the near future with students at Wolfe School. I plan to share more about this in another post.

PO-MO Case Studies

PO-MO Bios:
Meghan Athavale – Director/CEO, PO-MO Inc.
"Meghan has been a professional designer and animator since graduating from Red River College in 1997. After graduation, she moved to Calgary, where she spent almost two years directing projects at Aurenya Studios, a start-up animation company. In 2001, Meghan was engaged by Community Connections to support community-based IT development projects in rural Manitoba and in Winnipeg’s inner city.  In 2008, Meghan joined Manlab, developing educational interactive games and resources for Immigrate Manitoba. She also launched Meghan PO-MO Project, a sole proprietorship which provided sound reactive visuals for DJs and venues across Canada. In 2009, Meghan was contracted as the User Experience Designer at Tipping Canoe, a multinational internet marketing company.

In 2010, Meghan formed PO-MO Inc. in partnership with Curtis Wachs. She began working exclusively for the company in December, 2010. Today, Meghan is the driving force behind PO-MO Inc."

Curtis Wachs – Technical Director/COO, PO-MO Inc.
"Curtis graduated from Assiniboine Community College in 2003 where he studied object oriented programming. Directly upon graduating, Curtis was hired by Assiniboine Community College to help design and develop software for online classes. Curtis relocated to Winnipeg in 2006 to create interactive training material for sales staff at E.H. Price. During the course of his work, Curt was apprenticed in 3D modelling and animation by Liem Ngyuen, a former Frantic Films resident. In 2008, Curtis joined Manlab, where he created online educational games for Travel Manitoba, Immigrate Manitoba, and other clients. In 2010, Curtis formally joined PO-MO Project, and the company became a partnership. In June 2010, PO-MO Inc. was founded.

Curtis is currently the technical director at PO-MO Inc., overseeing the project management and workflow of contracted and R&D development projects."

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