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The YrWall digital graffiti video wall

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August 5, 2010

YrWall allows users to digitally create graffiti, using an infrared spray paint can

YrWall allows users to digitally create graffiti, using an infrared spray paint can

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Graffiti murals can be truly amazing pieces of artwork, but when it comes to indoor graffiti-making events... well, those spray paints aren’t exactly fume-free, nor are they particularly forgiving to people trying their hand at the art form for the first time. That’s where the YrWall Digital Graffiti Wall comes in. Designed by startup British tech company Lumacoustics, YrWall consists of a video wall that users "paint" on using a modified spray paint can – it “sprays” infrared light, and is tracked by a computer. Much like Microsoft Paint, users can select different colors and effects from a palette, fill in areas with a given color, insert pre-made graphics, and delete their mistakes. When they’re done, they can save their projects, share them online using an onscreen keyboard, or even get them printed on T-shirts.

YrWall is the brainchild of Lumacoustics founders Tom Hogan and Tim Williams, who designed the system for things such as promotional and corporate events, community projects, and even graffiti “battles” between artists. It could also be used by commercial graphic artists, who prefer a life-size canvas for their graffiti-esque assignments.

The YrWall Digital Graffiti Wall in use at the Chevrolet Spark Tour launch

At one recent event, guests got to design a custom paint job for a Chevrolet Spark, one of which was parked close by with a real-time feed of that paint job projected onto it. This involved providing a basic onscreen outline of the car, which users could then fill in however they wished. That type of “coloring book” application has proven particularly popular at corporate events, as has the ability to incorporate custom backgrounds, company logos, and specific company colors.

Besides the familiar effects like paint and fill, users can add swirls, custom stencils, and even animated elements to their work. Most important of all, perhaps, there is also a dripping paint effect for added street cred.

The YrWall Digital Graffiti Wall

In its one year of existence, YrWall has already been used at events for clients such as Google, MTV, YouTube and Chevrolet. The system is available for rental or purchase throughout the UK and Europe, via the Lumacoustics website.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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