In this digital age, we are used to express ourselves through social networks and text messages in digital forms. For this project, I wanted to create a metaphor of our digital voice online. Digital Voice Display is a device that a person can wear on his or her head as a visual display of what they are speaking. The device has an Arduino, LOL Shield and a microphone.
For this project, I hacked a Radioshack sound recording module and connected it to a speaker on each side of the headphone, and an accelerometer. I recorded a message that said: “Don’t stop running”, so it would play every time the accelerometer sensed deceleration. This is meant to boost energy of runners, while they are running. A runner can record a message, so whenever he or she gets tired while running, the message automatically plays, encouraging them to go on. When acceleration is picked up by the accelerometer, the sound stops playing.
Before we started working together, Justin had wanted to do a project relating to physical interface, and Alex had wanted to do a project related to music. So we combined our ideas and made a ‘mashup machine’. The goal was to let users play around with making music without needing any musical talent.
So…it’s maybe a bit late for posting about inspiration…but although I’m just now posting, I actually saw these videos a long time ago and they have inspired me throughout the semester. So, in the hope that others will be likewise inspired:
It is most definitely not some cutting edge digital art project that somebody is working on…it’s pretty much the opposite of that. It’s a series of videos aimed at naval recruits in the 50s, explaining the basics behind mechanical (i.e. not electronic) computing techniques. I personally think they’re really fascinating. That may say a lot about my personality, but anyway…
I think they’re a cool reminder of what you can do without any electronics or programming whatsoever. Of course there’s nothing wrong with electronics…but there’s something really cool about this stuff to me. Plus, we can combine electronics and mechanical computing and make really amazing stuff. As an architecture student, my dream is to figure out a way to make a building that is one giant mechanical computer…
For this project I wanted to explore and play with the idea of user interface a bit. As great as I think touchscreens are in their way…I mean you can’t really have a smartphone without one…I kind of also hate them. I don’t know, they just aren’t very satisfying to use in my opinion. Tapping a screen just doesn’t feel the same as pushing a button, turning a knob, or switching a…switch. So I wanted to create some kind of device that would be all about the way you physically interact with it.
I was raised by the NES and Atari 7800. Just kidding, I had perfectly good parents. But I did play a lot of video games back in the day, and this has instilled within me a deep-seated nostalgic fascination with pixelation*. So once I got my LoL Shield all soldered up, I thought I’d make a tiny, super pixelated, monochromatic screen and come up with a method to translate whatever picture I wanted on to it.