Calm communication

Hi folks, just want to show you some videos from my design reserch project as part of last year as an industrial design student at , Norway).

I’ve used two imps + sparkfun brakeout boards to make two exploratory interactive objects… they don’thave a strong utilitarian side, but still can be given functionality like this for instance…

interaction from lars helland bjertnæs on Vimeo.

The “nobs” have a potentiometer with a switch - which is intented to"convert the objects from a person-to-person thing to more of a physical display / internet-to-person-thing… :slight_smile:

I still have some weeks left to finish the project… If anyone have Ideas for how this objects can be used… or reflections around what this kind of simple, physical, ubiquitous tech/object kan be good for. This kind of reflections are the outcome of my project and what the “objects” are intended for. I’ll be sharing my “findings” and films from the project on delivery.

  • I’d be thankful for any feedback!

The electronic and server side of the project is very basic - based on Tom Buttner servo tutorials on instructables…

I still have to dig more into the coding - as I do experience some “sleeping/downtime”. Fortunatly, it looks like there’s plenty on the matter in the forum.

Here’s a short vid from the building process…

work in progress - build from lars helland bjertnæs on Vimeo.

any comments or thoughts appreciated!

greetings from norway,

edit: fixed video embedding code & some of my terrible english

Nice work!
I see you have access to a fantastic workshop at your university. Laser cutters, NC machines, etc. Your designs looks quite refined for a research project.

Regarding downtime, I suggest to include a imp.wakeup() call at regular intervals (every 10s or so), doing nothing, but it will let the server know you are still there. This might prevent unintended power downs.

thanks! you’r right - we got a fantastic workshop, it’s a shame we still often use most of our time in front of screens. It’s quite refined regarding material and precision, but not much regarding concept /functionality/ usability / and so on.

the project is about the role of physical part of and interactive object (actually “hybrid object”). Not much in a technical sense, but how we relate to physical objects with computational or connected content, and dilemmas when making this products (from a industrial design point of view). The prototypes are ment as something onto witch this things can be discussed, and maybe generate idees or insights (at least for me :slight_smile: for “real” and useful products. Let’s say they might help making question’s and help other people I talk with visualize and understand different aspects and scenarios on the theme(s).

In this case the “refinement”, size and material choice is made to emphasis on more abstract themes, like emotions and meaning. In these day’s I’m about to start “interviewing” people and experts with the objects, in order to learn more.

thanks a lot for the tip on wakeup - I’ll test it out tonight.

Really nice job! I love the cut wood battery holder too!

Some suggestions, mainly on power usage:

  • Use imp.enablepowersave(true) to reduce power usage of the imp when sitting connected to wifi. Once interaction starts, you can do imp.enablepowersave(false) to reduce latency, and then when maybe a minute has elapsed with no more activity, you can turn power save on again. This reduces power consumption of the imp by about 90%.

  • If you put a high-side switch (search the forums for a diagram) into the servo power line, you can power the servo down when it’s not being driven. It’ll still say in the same place, but takes zero power then.

  • If you wanted to make this last months or years, you’d probably have to go to sleep and wake regularly, checking for movement. You could put an accelerometer in there to sense when the device was picked up, and wake the imp - and for incoming events, you’d check every few minutes… though that might not be great for starting two-way interactions.

With the high side switch for the servo, and never going to sleep (ie just do imp.enablepowersave), two CR123A batteries should last maybe 2 weeks. For longer than that you’d have to use the real sleep modes.

thank´s for extensive feedback Hugo - very appreciated! I’ll certainly try out your suggestions as soon as I got the project delivered in a couple of weeks. I have alot to wrap up as the deadline approches! :slight_smile:
I’ll share the project as soon as it’s delivered/published.