Tactile Media and Responsive Culture for Open Spaces

The Fiber Cloud was a sculpture designed to respond to human touch

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In Florence, Italy, 40,000 people and more than 800 exhibitors gather for three days each year to share and learn about the latest advances in fashion. Pitti and the Mobile Experience Lab developed two strategies for enhancing the community aspect of this group: pitti.mobi and the Cloud. During the conference, these two experiences, one pragmatic, one emotional, allow people to maintain connections and memories beyond the three days.

The cloud is a responsive sculpture capable of detecting presence and engaging with users through its multi-fiber touch interface. Tactile engagement with the individual fibers provokes a variety of responses from the cloud, ranging from ambient lighting to animation and sound. The cloud’s open-source development platform encouraged users to contribute to a growing library of creative interactions that will stretch the limits of the imagination.

The cloud contains hundreds of sensors and over 15,000 individually addressable optical fibers. Constructed of carbon glass, spanning over four meters, and containing more than 65 kilometers of fiber optics, the Cloud encourages visitors to touch and interact with information in new ways.

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