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Leo Fernekes is a bit of a mad scientist operating in the commercial art-technology realm. He's a master electrical engineer exploring physically immersive human interfaces. If you have ever been to Remote Lounge, the hyper-surveillance themed bar on the Bowery in New York, you've had a taste of what Leo can conceive.

Last night I had a chance to experience Leo's latest, Sensacell, developed in collaboration with Joakim Hannerz. In its most basic form, the Sensacell is a small tile embedded with LEDs, capacitive sensors (like a laptop trackpad) and networking capabilities. Bundled together the tiles can be mounted underneath a translucent surface to make anything from a coffee table to a wall sculpture. The interaction is simple– touch, or even just get close to, the surface and the lights illuminate. Various modes can be assigned– trail, paint, reverse, and others each have different results but are all seriously satisfying in the way they breathe on and off. When you check out the Sensacell site, be sure to watch the videos to understand the full effect.

Sensacell will be on exhibit at Compact Impact until 1 June 2005. CI will also be a distribution partner.


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