August 3, 2006 The world’s largest Etch A Sketch was unveiled at the 33rd SIGGRAPH International Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference and Exhibition in Boston yesterday. One of the best known toys of the baby boomer generation, the Etch a Sketch hit the market in 1960 though the new one-off version is quite different and uses a new interactive technique – a wireless "mouse for the masses" that gives audiences the freedom to play realtime computer generated games. The giant Etch a Sketch uses Cinematrix’s unique patented audience participation technology where each audience member is given a two-sided "wand" to signal a preference to the sensor cameras. One configuration allows the left half of the audience to turn the left knob while the other allows the right half of the audience to turn the right knob. The two halves attempt to "group think" and trace various graphics on the giant screen by collectively turning the knobs. Pictured here is SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival Chair Terrence Masson, leading 3,000 audience members as they collaborate in drawing a teapot.
This technology allows audience members to control (in real-time) the two famous Etch A Sketch drawing knobs and use them interactively. Functionality also includes the audience's ability to "shake" the screen clean and start again with a blank canvas.
Officially endorsed by the owners of the real Etch A Sketch, the Ohio Art Company, the installation was used in the opening promotional foray for SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival -- the world's marquee showplace for the latest and most innovative animation films of the year.