WiiSpray: Graffiti, without the legal hassles

Students at Germany's Bauhaus University have come up with WiiSpray, an interactive game that uses a spray can controller and a virtual canvas.

Spray can controller
The spray can controller has a USB port for charging batteries and updating firmware. WiiSpray.com

If blank walls tend to stir your graffiti urges, the Nintendo Wii may soon offer a solution that doesn't involve arrests of any kind.

Students at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, have come up with WiiSpray, a concept interactive game that uses a Wiimote plugged into a special spray can. Players then get to unleash their artistry on a virtual canvas.

That canvas "allows the user to decide what is saved and what is discarded, all the while keeping the surrounding area clean and free of what otherwise would be a messy form of media," media students Martin Lih and Frank Matuse say.

The Flash-enabled software offers a range of colors, plus lots of interchangeable spray can caps, along with the option to incorporate personal photos, graphics, and backgrounds into the setting. The buttonless controller--which has a USB port for charging batteries and updating firmware--is said to sit comfortably in the hands of both righties and lefties.

Sadly, we don't read enough German to be able to extract a whole lot more information from the creators' thesis documentation. But the project has already led to some pretty interesting discussions online about whether such a game would lead to less real graffiti because people would have an actual outlet, or more real graffiti because the practice would become more familiar.

Watch the video below to see a teaser of the students' final presentation. Pretty cool--and colorful--stuff.


WiiSpray Teaser from Martin Lihs on Vimeo.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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