Google has released a programming framework for building interactive exhibitions and installations, allowing developers to create surfaces and even whole rooms that respond to human actions. Titled "Interactive Spaces," the framework is available through the Google Code repository under the permissive Apache 2.0 license, meaning that anyone can download, use, and modify it. It is written in Java and works on a "consumer-producer" model, with events passed between the two — in an example given by engineer Keith Hughes on Google's open source blog, a set of cameras placed in the ceiling function as "producers," tracking the movements of people below, while lights in the floor act as "consumers," generating corresponding patterns that follow users around.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the community does with Google's framework now that it's out in the wild. We're hoping for more projects along the lines of the Chrome Web Lab — announced at Google I/O and officially opened at London's Science Museum earlier this week — though it is not clear whether this particular installation, shown above, uses the Interactive Spaces framework.