Google PixelTree

Google PixelTree – Interactive Sculpture

When Google debuted their ChromeBook Pixel laptop, they came to Obscura Digital to create a unique sculpture that would use the computer as part of the piece. I co-developed the initial concept for the sculpture with my co-worker Bryant Place, and then IwamotoScott Architecture and Obscura’s in-house fabricator Hoss Ward took the design to completion.

As the Technical Director on the project, I also worked closely with the software team to setup the operating system, network the computers, and develop scripts for testing and uploading the content. The debut of the PixelTree was at Google I/O in Las Vegas in April 2013, and then we installed it in the Google Campus in Mountain View, CA.

Google PixelTree
Google PixelTree

From Obscura’s website:

“Launched in 2013, the Chromebook Pixel features a touch screen with the highest pixel density of any laptop, invisible to the unaided eye. Obscura’s challenge was to creatively utilize 60 Chromebook Pixel laptops to demonstrate the interactive touch screen and retina display features through a communal interactive experience.

Obscura’s concept involved two rows of 30 laptops each, arranged in a circle, with a resolution of 76,800 x 3,400 pixels. This, combined with 60 channels of audio, created an interactive art sculpture called “PixelTree”.

The installation enabled people to draw musical paths on the screens with their fingertips, which triggered networked media and musical notes—harp and aquatic sounds—that played simultaneously across the laptops. Each individual gesture rippled across the screens, overlapping with other gestures, resulting in a multi-user visual and aural symphony”


more pictures and video:

Google Pixel Tree Closeup
PixelTree at Google Campus Mt. View, CA