Digital arts promoted with interactive devices


TAIPEI, Taiwan — XtraLab Design, a Taiwan-based design company, formally opened an art gallery Sunday to showcase its new interactive technology that it says will create innovative art forms and make it easier to operate consumer-oriented businesses.

One of the applications of the new technology on display was the use of a restaurant menu on an iPad in the gallery’s coffee shop, a feature which XtraLab believes will bring people closer to commercial products or works of art.

XtraLab’s iPad application for its coffee shop allows customers to preview their orders with pictures or written introductions seen on the tablet computer.

“We hope that the iPad application will attract people to visit our gallery to experience other interactive devices that combine different fields of art, “ said XtraLab General Manager Frankie Fan at the gallery’s opening ceremony.

Another example of the interactive technology is a “water table” in the main gallery that produces virtual creations similar to traditional Chinese ink paintings.

A projector is used to create colorful images in water, guided by an infrared sensor that detects hand movements as people touch the water’s surface.

The company, in cooperation with modern Chinese painter Liu Kuo-sung, is scheduled to demonstrate the digitizedart in an exhibition opening at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum on Oct. 16.

Another infrared technology on display at the gallery transforms a song into animations, such as a cat’s walk or piano keys, that react to one’s gestures or movements.

When asked about the prospects for the development of the interactive technology in the Asian market, Fan said Taiwan is more favorably positioned than other countries XtraLab has done business with, including China and Singapore.

“Taiwan has better opportunities in the sector because it is good at integrating related technologies and talent,” Fan said.

“We hope this place is not only a gallery or a coffee shop, but also a laboratory or an exchange platform where one can explore new digital art concepts in Taiwan,” he said.