Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Say it with water
May 9, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Falling water controlled by microchips in Kyoto Station welcomes you using a technology similar to that used in inkjet printers. Here are some others. They are made by Koei Aquatec.
posted by Obscure Reference (27 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love the idea. I don't love a water fountain that wants me to drink Coke.
posted by aetg at 7:21 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool. Next, a shower head that pulses out the morning's headlines for you during your daily ablutions.
posted by XMLicious at 7:22 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The future!
posted by limeonaire at 7:26 AM on May 9, 2010


I was wondering how long it was until fountains try to sell me something.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is pretty cool, thanks.

XMLicious, I am less worried about getting headlines in my shower than the subtle dermal-pressure loyalty conditioning. The aromatherapy mind control in my shampoo is bad enough....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:27 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


First saw one of those type fountains at the Detroit Autoshow in 2006 or so.
posted by tomplus2 at 7:34 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was excited about this for 20 seconds, then I stopped being wowed. I really like falling water and I don't think adding fancy patterns or words makes it prettier-- in fact it actually distracts from the lovely, graceful nature of water fountains.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:40 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kyushu did it first!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:43 AM on May 9, 2010


I don't know why you couldn't have rows of these water ejector things and then you would have a 3D water display.
posted by eye of newt at 7:59 AM on May 9, 2010


I was expecting the first few comments here to be "great, technology found another way to destroy the beauty of nature." But only one so far. I think the point is that if you're going to show somebody the time or ads on a billboard, why not at least make it a billboard made of something people like, like water, rather than things people don't like, like steel and LEDs?
posted by Xezlec at 8:01 AM on May 9, 2010


This is pretty good for technical merit, but for artistic impression I'm finding it kind of lacking. Perhaps they just haven't found the right technique or style to make it really impressive. It's not unusual that the people with the right skills to invent and build something like this aren't the best people to actually make use of it once it's built.

Also, once the water is released at ceiling height, the rapid acceleration due to gravity makes it move too quickly and it seems a bit, I don't know, manic? Maybe if they built it into one of those features where drips of liquid slowly fall down little monofilaments (what are these called?), that would be more relaxing to watch.
posted by FishBike at 8:04 AM on May 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I now see in flapjax at midnite's earlier post on this subject, that pracowity already came up with the 3D idea. So where are our 3D water videos? Why does the future always take so long? We already have video on air.
posted by eye of newt at 8:05 AM on May 9, 2010


A transparent 3D display would just be confusing.
posted by DU at 8:27 AM on May 9, 2010


"A transparent 3D display would just be confusing."

Colored water shouldn't be an issue if you are starting with printer nozzles.
posted by wah at 8:48 AM on May 9, 2010


FishBike, remember there are the people who built it and the people who sign the checks.

I can give you examples from work where we've* picked the system that was more error prone because one of our management critters insists that the FDA would be all bent out of shape if we did anything that might suggest we had souls. Hurray for total quality management.

*And by we, I mean it was dictated from on high.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:56 AM on May 9, 2010


This has also been done at Zaragoza, by Carlo Ratti with his Digital Pavilion.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 9:01 AM on May 9, 2010


They have an installation here at the Kunstmuseum Bonn which uses the same techonology to display falling words, but instead of a constantly scrolling marquee it's one word followed by a half-second break, then the next word and so on. Makes for a more interesting effect, as you have just begun contemplating the meaning of one word when the next appears.
posted by brokkr at 9:17 AM on May 9, 2010


So where are our 3D water videos?

Shoot, I can probably build you one right now if you've got the money.

I think that last word would be the problem.
posted by Xezlec at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2010


Inside out with air bubbles
posted by warbaby at 9:32 AM on May 9, 2010


> Also, once the water is released at ceiling height, the rapid acceleration due to gravity makes it move too quickly and it seems a bit, I don't know, manic?

It looks like that video is accelerated a little bit (if you watch people walk by the background, it looks a little sped up). I found this video of the same fountain, and it isn't nearly as manic (and shows how they use it to display the time as well).
posted by mrzarquon at 10:24 AM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is neat. Reminds me that there used to be "water shows" in the theme parks around the US where characters made out of fountain sprayers and lights would "sing" and "dance" it was pretty crude compared to this, but haven't seen something like it in over 20 years.
posted by peppito at 11:28 AM on May 9, 2010


I dunno it seems like a lot of work just to make Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII.
posted by maus at 12:16 PM on May 9, 2010


I found this video of it particularly interesting. A printer works by activating and de-activating the jets as the paper moves through it at a constant speed. These water founds are the exact same idea, except with a shifted frame of reference -- rather than the paper moving beneath the ink, the ink (water) moves as the paper stays still. It's exactly the same as a printer! Except it's not. The difference, which is illustrated really nicely by the video I linked to, is that the ink accelerates with the water fall, so the image stretches as it goes down.
posted by !Jim at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2010


An interesting aspect of this: water splashes can make a particular tone. For example, hold a hose and, as the water gushes out, hit a tuning fork and press it against the nozzle. The vibrations of the tuning fork affect the segmentation of water drops in such a way that when the water hits a solid object it is possible to hear the original tone, a tone created by the splashes.

I've never seen (heard) anyone do anything interesting with this.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:40 AM on May 10, 2010


It's hard to find references, but yes, a fountain can play a tune.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:51 AM on May 10, 2010


IN THE YEAAARRRRR TWO THOUSAAAAAAAANDD!
posted by mrzer0 at 7:54 AM on May 10, 2010


I saw one of these at the Caterpillar booth at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) show a few years ago. It was cool.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:33 PM on May 10, 2010


« Older Actress Kristin Chenoweth responds to a Newsweek a...  |  Betty White hosts the mother ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments