Author Topic: Internet connected interactive art idea....  (Read 6232 times)


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Internet connected interactive art idea....
« on: April 05, 2016, 04:19:40 am »
Been wondering about how to connect grandchildren and grandparents across the internet using Oaks.

Musing over some vague ideas, but wondering what ideas other have to feed into this too. At this stage it is a thought exercise, but I'd love to ultimately make my kids and parents something like this in due course once I've refined the ideas.

Thinking that a piece of "interactive art" at each end would be pretty cool, especially if each responds to both local stimulation and remote stimulation, so that the art changes which encourages you to play with it, and that the art at the other ends responds to that playing too.

Picturing it would probably be made of an Oak with something like a 8 x 8 grid of Digital Pixel LEDs behind a diffuser (or maybe bigger grid depending on size of the unit). I'm assuming that the pixel panel would gently pulse in some manner with even with no local or remote stimulus (maybe with a gentle heartbeat type of evolving wave pattern).

If each unit had a local trigger/sensor, for example a microphone that responded to volume, which intensified and sped up the pattern locally, and also send that volume signal to the far end, so that both panels sped up.

Probably you'd have some sort of maths algorithm to compute the ever changing pattern that had a minor random element to keep it subtly changing and slowly evolving on its own, but that the random element got more random the louder the sound was, so the pattern evolved faster and diverged more when you played with it. You would in that scenario only need to send a number between the two units from 0 - 1024 to convey the volume locally (not the sound itself). There would be no need for the two patterns to be identical.... they could be random at each end I think. (in fact you could potentially have several selectable algorithms and each could choose their favourite one)

If the algorithm seeded the local mic's randomness into say the bottom left and the remote mic's randomness into the bottom right, then you would be able to see whether the pattern is being affected by the local mic, the remote mic, or both at once.

Because it doesn't need a computer and could be always on, then it becomes a way for grandchildren and grandparents to interact without another device. Of course seeing the pattern change because the other person was there, would potentially make you more likely to think of them, and think of maybe Skyping them or picking up the phone.

At its simplest it could be just one trigger at each end, but over time you could add extra sensors to trigger for a variety of stimuli, i.e heat, movement, button press, weather, touch sensor etc. Multiple sensors could respond differently, like one could control speed, one intensity, and one the colour changing (again all at both ends).

If you package it well, it could become something beautiful that both acts as a connection, but also looks cool in your home.

What do others think? Could this work? What would be the easiest way to start with a most basic setup to test the theory? What sensor would you choose if you only had one? How would show what was local interaction and what was remote interaction (different colours? different corners the pattern emerges from? etc)

Happy to discuss ideas with others who think this might have some potential. Obviously there is plenty of potential for others to take the idea but end up with something VERY different even with the same basic ingredients and ideas, but would be good to bounce ideas around for a bit with like minded people first to help shape our thinking.

So over to you...


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Re: Internet connected interactive art idea....
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 09:00:56 pm »
I think I need to start in two places with this idea....

1) Playing with some very simple neopixel setup with just a short run of linear pixels. Plenty of help out there on this, and particularly a thread about using Oaks here:

2) Reading on some matrix maths type theories to get an idea about how I might programmatically calculate the colour of a grid of pixels frame by frame with a sense of fluid movement between them in 2 dimensions. This is what I'm not sure on, but I'm guessing it is something to do with matrices. Anyone know what terms I should google for to get ideas and inspiration from?