A Super Collider of an Immersive AV Experience

For those of you music fans who may know of the following album cover art…


…you may not know that it’s an image modified from an existing photograph of the inner barrel of a particle physics detector, an experiment built on the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, otherwise known as CERN.

On April 5th, according to this Forbes article, scientists at CERN successfully turned on the Large Hadron Collider (after it had been shut down for two years), injecting two proton beams moving in opposite directions into the massive particle accelerator. The LHC had been shut down for that time period as upgrades were being made to its various systems. This included consolidating some of the electrical systems, adding magnet protection systems, and making improvements to its cryogenic and vacuum systems.

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Imagine being able to feel like a particle (including the sensation of) speeding through the Large Hadron “supercollider.” With virtual reality and VR devices one can now travel through a psychedelic audiovisual-based supercollider experience using 3D motion controls and gestures. Funktronic Labs (partnered with LEAP Motion) created Collider as this experience where motion controls can “warp” your mind and “blast” your face with generative visuals and dynamic sounds. Collider was indeed inspired by the imagery and visual design of the CERN Large Hadron Collider.


LEAP Motion allows you, according to its description, to explore the world in a whole new way. The Leap Motion Controller, a USB tracking device, tracks both hands and all 10 fingers with incredible speed — so you can play, create, and explore without touching anything. It senses how you naturally move your hands — point, wave, reach, grab and even pick something up and move it. Watch the video:

Using the Oculus Rift VR headset (below), one becomes fully immersed in this virtual reality experience. The headset in itself creates a stereoscopic 3D view with excellent depth, scale, and parallax. This is achieved by presenting unique and parallel images for each eye. The Rift uses custom tracking technology to provide ultra-low latency 360° head tracking, allowing you to seamlessly look around the virtual world just as you would in real life. Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time creating a natural and intuitive experience.


In the Collider immersive experience, the Oculus Rift headset is fitted with the LEAP Motion detector (below picture).

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Collider 3

Once fitted with the virtual headset, one is then sent hurtling through the collider’s synchotron ring.

Human hands are replaced in the virtual tunnel environment with kinematic rigging bones (creating a mechanical skeleton-like version of one’s hands), where using subtle motions one can generate kaleidoscopic graphics and pulsing music. One can determine the pace and intensity of their journey through the Collider, making for a completely engrossing experience.

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An example of an image using the Oculus Rift headset with LEAP Motion detector.

A Wired Magazine online article An Arty Oculus Trip Through The Large Hadron Colider, explains how this incredible audiovisual experience provides a first-person perspective of a particle hurtling through the $6.4 billion CERN apparatus.

Here is Collider:

Collider in the LEAP Motion App Store

A full description, the history behind, features of Collider and more are detailed in this press kit article which also provides images.

By the way the album is called Super Collider – naturally…