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Who Doesn’t Like Lava Lamps?

If you’re familiar with multitouch, you’re probably familiar with Jeff Han’s TED demo. In it, there’s an example of a lava application that shows an interesting use of multitouch.

A few months ago, I was trying to work on something similar.

The following is what I came up with. I never had the chance to finish and was only able to add mouse support at the time. So, here’s a preview of what might come to a multitouch screen near you at some point in the future.

It’s pretty slow since it uses bitmapdata and filters and the code is a bit of a Frankenstein of information I found online about ‘metaballs’. If I get a chance, i’ll see if I can get the code out.

Meanwhile, have some fun! Click around and push/move the lava!

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”9.0.0″ movie=”http://sethsandler.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/lava.swf” width=”510″ height=”768″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]Get Adobe Flash player


What do you think? Lava enough for you?

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  • Seth,

    The Lava works pretty well on my TouchSmart PC!


  • Cool app ,
    May be this can be faster ,if this can be in cpp or python . 😉

  • wallter

    Try to add a color index for the ‘heat’ – where you have it rising because it’s hot – then it will look more like Jeff’s — cool though

  • Hey I caught your blog and you mentioned lava lamps, which kind of lit a lightbulb in my head. Man, I love lavalamps and I bet others besides me among your readers would benefit from something I’ve been working on for awhile. The is URL attached to my comment for my site, LavaLavaLamps. I’ve had a site up for awhile and we offer lava lampsf or sale. So, if anyone wants to buy a new lavalamp that’s lost or misses their old one from the 70s, please do. Enjoy!

  • Hi Walter,

    Thanks for the comment! That’s exactly the goal (to add heat) at some point. Hopefully i’ll get some extra time soon. 🙂

  • A_davies_2000

    Hi seth
    did you manage to get any further with this as i think is great and would love a chance to see it with multitouch

    • Unfortunately I didn’t get any further and I misplaced a part of the code. I hope to come back to it though. It was a fun experiment.