Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM ET
An art installation at London's Barbican arts center lets people walk through the pouring rain — but thanks to movement-tracking sensors, it only rains where people aren't.
The installation is called Rain Room, and it was created to let people experience the sensation of controlling the rain. A grid of panels continually unleashes a torrent of water in the room at a rate of 1,000 liters, or around 260 gallons, of water per minute. But don't worry: it's all filtered and recycled.
Cameras in the room track the positions of people and control output nozzles in the ceiling, stopping the rain wherever a person is standing or walking. Being surrounded by rain but not getting wet is already a familiar to anyone who has used an umbrella, but the combination of dramatic lighting and seeing a path clear itself through the downpour should make the installation feel different from an ordinary rainy day.
It was created by a German art trio that goes by the name Random International, and the trio has collaborated with a dance troupe and contemporary composer Max Richter to create a performance piece for the room as well.
The Londonist blog reports that it isn't quite perfect, and quick movements can still get you sprinkled, but overall the effect is "bizarre yet enthralling." The Londonist also warns potential visitors that they may be waiting in line for over an hour, so it may be better to wait for the crowds to die down a bit.
There's no hurry: Londoners and visiting art lovers can visit the Rain Room at the Barbican Centre until March 3. Admission is free and as the UK's Press Association notes, towels will be provided.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.