High-tech rain shower won't rain on you

There is a place called the RainRoom where you can walk into a downpour and yet stay completely dry. The people behind the room aren't dispensing superpowers at the door or using magic to do it. Well, there is some sophisticated technological magic at work behind keeping you dry, so that kind of counts.

The RainRoom is an art installation that guides people through a dark corridor into a bright, 330-square-foot room where you can play in the rain and not get wet. The dry "bubble" that follows each person is thanks to a hidden, complex system of pressure regulators, hydraulics and 3D tracking cameras.

As participants walk across the grated floor, the cameras map each person's body, and through custom software translates it to a pixelated grid of 9x9-inch panels, with nine outlets in each. These outlets create a rain shower of 660 gallons of water that fall at 264 gallons per minute. The software basically tells the hydraulic outlets wherever a person is, the water isn't.

It's an interesting installation from two perspectives. There is the sophisticated tracking system that is so sensitive it can seemingly make a person waterproof as they move. Then there is the psychological side of the RainRoom. To enter a room engulfed in a downpour takes a large amount of trust that you won't get wet. Not surprisingly, it has been reported that people are hesitant until the system proves itself by keeping them dry no matter where they move.

If you'd like to take that leap of faith that you won't be soaked, Random International's RainRoom is installed at the Barbican in London.

RainRoom, via Designboom, via CNET

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