Docked in Copenhagen, Denmark is a boat called the Illutron. A collective of artists share a workshop there, doing all sorts of crazy crap, not limited to dangerous-looking interactive sound exhibits, teaching a factory robot how to draw, and now they’ve synced up a flame thrower to an Xperia Play so that instead of using the built-in LED flash, it uses a nearby propane-powered flamethrower to light the subject.
So why were they doing all of this? It’s part of a new project Sony Ericsson has started called the Xperia Studio. Basically, they’re seeding their phones to interesting people to see what they do with them. In one instance, they gave one to a Parisian musician, and she used a tiny condenser mic to record sample from around the city and spliced them together to make a piece. A surfing photographer used his Xperia to find and navigate to the best waves (although if he was really gung-ho, he would have taken some shots with the phone itself). An astronomer in New York made an app that allows folks to explore the stars in a variety of visualizations based on available spectrum readings. It’s over here in the Android Market if you want to check it out.
That’s majestic and beautiful and all, but I’m really more about the fireballs. If you’re interested in doing this kind of thing yourself, they have the code up on Github. You can check out some videos from the other Xperia Studio projects here.