Ars Electronica FutureLab, Austria

Both an innovative form of social brainstorming and an interactive aesthetic experience, Shadowgram uses a mix of technologies to create a striking silhouette of each participant as a vinyl sticker -brought to life with speech bubbles containing opinions or comments on the event and its topics. Grouped in thematic clusters, highlighting trends and shared learning experiences, an interactive image is built up over the course of the event. It’s a playful, powerful way to generate emotion through technology and communicate inhibition-free with and across the crowd.

See how to make the Shadowgram


Visible Light Communications

Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut, Germany

Data travelling by light
Ceiling lamps aren’t just for lighting rooms, they can also bring films in lossless HD quality rapidly and safely to your smartphone or laptop! Visible Light Communication, or VLC for short, makes it possible: just install a few components to turn off-the-shelf LEDs into an optical WiFi! This has a broad array of possible applications ranging from hospital operating theatres, where safety is at a premium, to trade shows and factory halls where radio communication is problematic. Experiment in the InnovationSpace – access data from your own device using a light source at speeds of up to 500Mbit/second.


Wireless Wire

Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan

Imagine a next generation key system where you yourself are the key and can open the door with a simple touch of the doorknob – this is Wireless Wire, using Body Area Network short-range communication technology and sensors in the human body to enable you to act as transmitter and receiver.


Free Universal Construction Kit

Golan Levin, USA

More a provocation than a product, the Free Universal Construction Kit connects ten different toy construction systems together through a matrix of adapter bricks. Any piece can join any other piece, encouraging a totally new form of intercourse between otherwise closed and proprietary systems. And the adapter bricks are free to download for home-based 3D printing.

It’s a playful way to consider closed, competitive, commercial systems versus truly globalised open-source culture; intellectual property; and reverse engineering as a mode of cultural practice.


Solar Sinter

Markus Kayser, Germany

Combining sunlight and sand with high-tech production technology, this video demonstrates the production of 3D-printed glass using only the rich natural resources of the desert environment, placing into question the future of manufacturing and the role of the artist empowered to act in the world.

Hear Markus Kayser explain Solar Sinter



Matthew Gardiner, Australia

Explore the beauty of origami in the digital era, and the connections between nature, art and future technology. Highly- sensitive proximity sensors cause each oribot to open its folds in blossom in response to micro interactions, activating the entire network of oribots to a ripple effect of sympathetic movements throughout the installation. It’s both a stunningly complex moving image and a profound commentary on the use of mathematical code to close the gap between the physical and the digital worlds.

Find out more from Oribotics creator Matthew Gardiner



Hide and Emiko Ogawi, Japan

A weathervane for the Internet age, Kazamidori (from the Japanese “Kaza“ (wind) “mi“ (watch) and “dori“ (bird) use this traditional rooftop symbol to indicate the direction of the social wind of online interests. Swinging automatically towards the geographical location of each new visitor to the ITU Telecom World 2013 website, it combines the material and digital worlds to demonstrate how being part of the global community doesn’t have to mean being physically present.

See Kazamidori in action


Brain Battle

Ars Electronica FutureLab, Austria

Brain Battle lets you experience and interact with the principles of thought-powered interfaces. Move a ball around the screen, shoot or defend goals in simple video-style games and enjoy your first taste of an organic interface. It’s a new discipline on the edge of technology and the science of the brain, calling for new approaches to how we explain ourselves and our lives.

Demo times

Every day at 11:00 and 15:00 – come with a partner to play against!


Robotics in the Lab

WiFi, data networks, 3D printers, open source electronics platforms and crowd-funding websites – these are the technologies opening up robotics to designers, developers and small teams anywhere in the world. What impact will accessible and affordable robotics have on our daily lives? How will robots change our future and improve our quality of life? Find some of the answers, and plenty more questions, in the InnovationSpace Lab.



A robot in the form of a baby seal, Paro has been used for ten years in Japan and Europe for therapeutic purposes, in particular with Alzheimer’s patients, often dramatically reducing the need for more traditional medicine and interventions. Paro registers environmental stimuli via two computers and five sensors measuring touch, light, sound, temperature and physical position, enabling it to interact with its human interlocutor, recognizing 50 different voices and responding to its name. The roles and relationships of humans and technology are in flux and up for debate.

Watch Paro at work



A simple, effective demonstration of emotion translated into and via technology, Necomimi
takes the form of a pair of small extension ears reading and translating your feelings into movement. Test a new means of communication which returns to nature in its imitation of animal behaviour whilst looking forward to technology-driven future interactions.


Otto Bock

A video presentation of the most intimate of robot-human interaction in the form of advanced prosthetics, Otto Bock reminds us of the overwhelmingly positive relevance of technology in our lives. A robotic arm with outstanding neural connections reactivates nerves, stimulating the brain and producing feeling through an artificial interface. This is technology as empowerment.


Blind Robot

Louis-Philippe Demers, Canada

A mechatronic arm gently feels your face and upper body in the way a blind person might
do, creating a sensitive instrument of touch. Transforming robotics from cold precision tool into an intimate social experience, our preconceptions on robotics and human-robot interactions are subtly challenged.


Robo Zoo

Nature is the first major source of inspiration for robots. We strive to apply its physical
forms and modes of locomotion to the design of our machines, and to decode and modify nature – to the point where future robots may even have leisure time of our their own. Demonstrating the latest in design and capacity, a collection of small robots engage here in social scenarios such as playing football – and open up questions of how different cultures relate to robotics and technology, the diverse roles of humans versus robots, and concerns on the ethics, control and limitation of future robotics



Korea Telecom, Korea

A smart robot full of educational content and multimedia features, Kibot gives children between the ages of 3 and 13 an opportunity to learn and interact in a playful way. Enjoy content on a larger scale with the beam projector, interact with voice and touch recognition, place voice and video calls and control Kibot’s speech and movement remotely through a smartphone app.



Ars Electronica Quadcopter Swarm

The Ars Electronica Quadcopter Swarm is a swarm of up to 50 LED-equipped quadcopters that fly in formation and perform amazing feats of airborne choreography. The accompanying lighting and sound effects create an extraordinary aesthetic experience. The technology employed isn’t all that’s state-of-the-art; what wows viewers most of all is the performance’s futuristic artistry, as the video here demonstrates. And you can get up close with one of the quadcopters and its LED programme here in the Lab.


3D Printer

Gustavo Valera, Spain

Explore the realities of 3D printing, a technology with the power to change the world, by following the whole process from programming to design and layer-by-layer output. And debate the fascinating issues it raises, such as the return of creativity from the digital to the physical, the return of production from remote experts to the end user at the edge of the network, and a new, open source approach to creating and distributing things which shares knowledge back into the community.

Demo times

Sign up for one of the demos running
at 10:00 – 10:30, 13:30 – 14:00 and 15:45 – 16:15 on each day of event


Gravity Light

M. Riddiford and J. Reeves

A revolutionary yet simple way to generate power and light, Gravity Light ensures access of to up to 30 minutes of constant light anywhere in the world. Lift the charging weight, which is a bag that the user fills with 9 – 12.5kg of material made up of earth, rocks or sand, to allow gravity to do its job. A series of gears and a generator inside translates this slow falling mass into electrical energy. The system can be varied, to provide either task or ambient lighting, or both simultaneously at a lower level. This is artistic inspiration channelled into changing the world via sustainable, free electricity with the potential to lift millions out of fuel poverty and radically improve educational and economic outcomes. And this is the first public viewing of the Gravity Light prototype, which is due to be launched in early 2014.


Transparent Specimens

Iori Tomita, Japan

Using techniques originally developed for scientific analysis and increasingly widespread in medicine, sea creatures are turned into fantastic and strange specimens. Muscle tissues are rendered translucent by dissolving natural proteins, and body parts stained in contrasting hues to reveal the precise forms of nature. These bizarre sculptures on the border of art illustrate natural processes and represent reality – opening up complex questions on what reality is in a digital world.


In your hands

Dash MacDonald, UK

Remote-controlled roller skates on the feet of artist Dash MacDonald dashes can be steered in any direction by you, the observer or passer-by turned into puppet-master. The skates are typically manoeuvred into ever more absurd and impossible situations in an amusing and provocative challenge to ethical boundaries.



Martin Frey, Germany

CabBoots sense the surface of well-trodden route, tilting the soles to the outside or inside and steering you in a particular direction. It’s an innovative pedestrian guidance system that lets you navigate a route without a map – or even blindfold -as technology takes over.



Ars Electronica

Ars Electronica Linz, Austria has been an internationally successful cultural venue, research facility and educational institution for over 30 years. Since its founding in 1979, Ars Electronica has been observing, accompanying and configuring the Digital Revolution by consistently remaining on the leading edge of digital art and media culture.

Ars Electronica’s diversified activities are based on a global network of artists, researchers and scientists. In conjunction with the world renowned Ars Electronica Festival, the Prix Ars Electronica cyberarts competition, the R&D work done at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, and the Ars Electronica Center: Museum of the Future, this network is enhanced and expanded every year. In fact, it’s precisely this interplay of bold, creative experimentation, artistic talent paired with technological expertise, and a process of scientific and social reflection that has enabled Ars Electronica to achieve international acclaim as the benchmark institution in contemporary digital art and media culture.


Gerfried Stocker, Artistic Director, Ars Electronica on how the artist can inform the design and shape of innovative technologies to the benefit of industry.

Horst Hörtner, Director, Ars Electronica FutureLab on exploring future technology through the combination of artistic impression, scientific exploration and social impact.


Fraunhofer HHI

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is a global leader in the development of mobile and fixed broadband communication networks and multimedia systems. From photonic components and systems and fiber optic sensor systems through to high-speed hardware architectures, the Heinrich Hertz Institute works together with international partners from research and enterprise and for global markets on developing the infrastructures for the future Gigabit Society. At the same time it also develops future applications for broadband networks. Key focal areas of research are 3D TV, 3D displays, HDTV, gesture-controlled human-machine interaction, image signal processing and transmission, and interactive use of media.



Aoyama Gakuin University

Aoyama Gakuin University is an educational and research institution merging
leading innovation with a 139-year tradition of teaching and education in one of Japan’s foremost private universities.