Anemone is an emergent entertaining ambient interactive bar installation.
Going out is supposed to be a social experience, but in reality, it is difficult to come into contact with
new people, especially when you’re waiting for a drink at the bar. Keeping this in mind, we created Anemone. This
system aims to spontaneously entertain people at the bar and bring them into contact with each other
by projecting an interactive virtual ecosystem; a vibrant underwater world onto the bar’s surface. People
can interact with the system by placing their glasses on the bar’s surface or using their hands and thereby
aid or disturb the well-being of coral reefs and creatures.
The system was developed and evaluated in three iterations; each one building on the last. First, a
non-functional prototype was built. Then a first functional system and ultimately a final, revised system
that was tested on a real bar, with real people for a week.
The indicative results from the exploratory evaluation show that the system successfully provided background entertainment
to visitors of a bar, even though it had no explicit goal. They were attracted by the system and stuck
around longer than intended. Finally, the system was observed to encourage interaction between people.
This was not just the case for people who came to the bar together, who cooperated or competed for
coral and creatures, but also between people who did not yet know each other, where the system served
as a topic of conversation. This was also mentioned in questionnaires and interviews.