Assignment: Create a fading LED attached to a microcontroller. Your LED should be interruptible by either a pushbutton, analog input, or serial input. Your fade speed and fade curve are yours to determine.
Tom went through this exercise with us in class. I was surprised by how much the sine wave makes a difference to the fade. It felt a lot more smooth and natural. I left the class wanting to experiment on what different feelings I can create with the light.
I listed out some emotions and based on practicality and my state of mind recently (self-portrait), I went with: (1) heavy breathing (2) panic (3) emergency. The interaction is then to put off the fire and let the LED die.
I chose to make the enclosure as minimal as I can to highlight the light effects. I covered the LED in a tissue to diffuse the light and put it in a pingpong ball as it provides a perfectly round shape – evenly distributing the light. In addition, I made it into a character using white wires as the body of the pingpong man.
(1) Heavy breathing
The biggest thing I learned along the way was that light and its movements look different in every condition e.g. an LED vs. an LED in a pingpong ball vs. an LED covered in tissue in a pingpong ball – the effects in these are also very different. Therefore, next time I should make as close to the real setting as I can and take time to test to fine-tune the code.
A bonus – an interesting graph I made while trying to create a breathing effect.