Safe Sex Starts With Virtual Pillow Fight

Interactive billboard using AVT Manta camera promotes “Designers Against AIDS” charity by inviting passers-by to join pillow fight with Belgian top model Hannelore Knuts.



Travelers and commuters at Antwerp’s central station (Belgium) enjoyed surprising entertainment as they waited for their train from October 25-29, 2011. A huge projection screen had been installed in the ticket hall and people passing by in front of it would see themselves struck by Belgium’s popular top model Hannelore Knuts with a feather-filled pillow.

This interactive screen was part of a campaign by Belgian fashion label JBC to introduce their DAAbyJBC collection. This specific collection will raise funds for Designers Against AIDS (DAA), an international charity that uses pop culture to raise awareness of young people for AIDS and promote safer sex.
    
Augmented Reality with Digital Image Processing
The technology behind this interactive billboard was developed by Belgian multimedia artist Kris Meeusen, whose agency Lab101 is well established in multimedia advertising whose works have been used by big names like Unilever, Mercedes-Benz or U2. The system relies on machine vision to detect the presence and the position of people in front of the screen. A custom software application fits pre-recorded images of Hannelore Knuts into the live stream in real time. Virtual feathers fly around the scene as she smashes a pillow on the person’s head.

Manta G-145 30 fps for Real-Time Interactivity
Looking for the appropriate digital camera to monitor the station’s hall, Kris Meeusen turned to machine vision specialist Data Vision, Allied Vision Technologies’ partner in Benelux. The decision quickly fell on the AVT Manta G-145 30 fps camera because of its ruggedness and reliability, its good resolution/frame rate ratio, its GigE Vision interface enabling long cable length and the convenient API for C++ programming.

The AVT Manta G-145 30 fps is the high-speed version of the Manta G-145. It features the Sony ICX285 high-sensitivity CCD-sensor with 1.4 Megapixels resolution and delivers 30 frames per second at full resolution.

“The promotion at Antwerp central station was a full success”, says Meeusen. “The Manta proved to be the right choice both for its easy integration during the development process and its reliability in operation”.

The JBC promotion is another example of the successful implementation of AVT cameras in major interactive campaigns around the world. In 2010, Forever 21, another fashion label, had initiated the trend with a ground-breaking giant billboard at their flagship store at Times Square in New York City featuring the HD-resolution Prosilica GX1910.