Company: Multitouch Barcelona
Role: Creative Technologist
Peloteo was a multi-agency ping pong tournament in Barcelona. Our task was to create an installation for the event that enhanced the experience for both, players and spectators. It was an open brief, and we had about 3 weeks to design and build whatever we decided to do.
We started with a brainstorming session, where we looked at all the different options that we could bring to life. We analysed the possibilities in ping pong tournament and all the objects and situations we had available. We made our list:
The possibilities were infinite. We talked about hacking the pads or the table to count the highest number of ball hits; we talked about animated gifs of the players during the games; video projections on the table to play games or even enhance the in-game experience; but we settled on the creation of a scoreboard - with a kick.
We worked on an experience to share the excitement of the tournament with both players and viewers. The scoreboard was a big projection on the wall where everyone could see the current score. The main objective was to make sure everyone was aware of the score and the latest player to score.
At the beginning of each game, players could choose themselves using a selector we installed on the left side of the table. Then, during the game, each player called for their points pressing huge arcade buttons we installed on each side of the table.
Every time a point was scored, the scoreboard played an animation of the face of each player being happy or sad, depending on whose point it was.
To make this happen, we took pictures of each player at the beginning of the event, asking them to enact a specific set of emotions. We linked those to the arcade buttons, et voila!
I worked on this project from beginning to end. I developed all the software and did all the electronics work. I also helped with the construction of the pieces and installed them on the table on the day of the event.
As I explored multiple options for this project I had to learn a lot about different types of sensors and communication protocols, even though in the end we settled for an idea that didn’t use this knowledge. I also had to learn how to work under pressure and how to overcome last minute problems and changes: on the day of the event we had tons of issues with the pictures we took and the naming we were using. I had to do changes to the code on-site and work around restrictions we hadn’t identified before. Overall, it was a great project to work on and an amazing team to work with.