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— Urban Hacking: creating a proof of concept for a new digital graffiti technology

Showcasing in the 2015 London Design Festival / 2015 NOVA Award finalist

As part of a self-set brief, I challenged myself to create a piece of technology that encouraged the playfulness of graffiti while removing its destructive (& illegal) aspects.
#Flashtag turns the world into your canvas with a finger. Using laser projection you can draw, tag or type on any surface. Make your mark in the physical space and spread it in the social: it’s graffiti for the digital age.

#Flashtag is an iPhone and a pico laser projector bolted together with a dismembered selfie stick. Its projection and camera angles line up to transform your display into an interactive touch-to-spray canvas that translates your drawings from pixels to laser light.

#Flashtag automatically records as you draw and live-tweets to a connected twitter account, taking graffiti through 3 dimensions: the physical space, the digital space and the social space.

#Flashtag is a functioning demonstration of hardware and software working in tandem to create a piece of technology that encourages the self-expression of graffiti, without the vandalism of paint. Although the Pico Projector isn’t as powerful as the 2000 lumen projectors used to ‘projection bomb’ big buildings, in just a few generations, laser technology may be able to throw equivalent projections from something that fits in the palm of your hand. The possible future applications of #Flashtag are exciting as it grows along with the technology that powers it. One day you may be able to write a message on a 16-storey building without the use of a drone -and do it completely legally.

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