60 Seconds (Variable Clock)

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60 Seconds (Variable Clock) is a project I have been experimenting with for some time. It is to illustrate the subjective nature of our perception of time; “Is time linear?”. This assignment allowed me to turn it into a physical piece.

Remark: I wanted to use real 7-segment displays but given the time and main objective of the project (control > display), I decided to mimic them instead. This was still a challenge as I could not get web sockets to work on Arduino on time. As a result, I used p5 Serial instead.

Materials and components:

  • Long push buttons (thank you Tom)
    Image result for long push buttons
  • Arduino MKR 1010 / USB cable
  • 1/8″ matte black acrylic sheet
  • 4 x standoffs and screws
  • Breadboard / perf board / wires / resistors
  • iPad

Controls: I decided to use 2 push buttons to keep a clean minimal aesthetic. The materials of the buttons are the same as the acrylic used. One button is used to ‘SET’, the other to ‘CHANGE’. The display blinks to indicate which value is being changed (see video below).

System: Push buttons –> Arduino –> p5 Serial –> p5 Sketch (Desktop) –> Socket –> p5 Sketch (iPad)

Schematics: https://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/labs/labs-arduino-digital-and-analog/digital-input-and-output-with-an-arduino/

Code and laser cut files: https://github.com/hellonun/variable-clock-physical

Design and prototype:

I designed for the iPad to sit on a stand with its controls to feel like they’re one unit. The tricky part here is how to balance the weight so it is at the center of the stand.

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I made a cardboard prototype to get a sense of the size and fit.

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Size adjustments were made and the iPad stands quite well.

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Testing the controls on the piece

Final look:

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Original variable clock:

(note to self to fix  (1) no sound at ‘0’ (2) add special feature ‘set seconds’)

Side note: I definitely got distracted by the display and wish I’d spent more time thinking about the controls. However, as I was looking for buttons for this specific piece, I wanted something minimal – something with a tactile ‘click’ but with no sound, and because I couldn’t find ones that were perfect, I experimented with some silicone buttons + vacuum mold making (thank you Ben).

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(out of focus)

Tiny Bugs (ATtiny Programming Jig)

ATtiny: http://homemadehardware.com/guides/programming-an-attiny85/

Materials:

  • ATtiny and components attached in link
  • Neopixel
  • Pushbutton
  • 3V coin battery
  • Lego pieces

I’ve always wanted to make small electronic bugs – and surprised by how tiny the ATtiny was, I aimed to make the circuit as small as possible!

I started off by designing the characters with lego pieces I had on hand then designed the rest of the components around them.

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I then started preparing for each part (unfortunately had to cut out the silicone plan due to limited time)

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The jig from class works perfectly.

Again, due to limited time I was only be able to finish one. The soldering and layout on the perfboard took much longer than I’d imagined (most likely because I was very focused on making it tiny!).

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Also, the pushbutton of the finished piece broke last minute and I was unable to debug it!

My lessons:

  • Plan the wirings well, test everything!
  • Design and measure everything!

Through the assignment I believe I have a much better sense of the prototyping process and will try to manage the time better next time.

24 Hour Pinhole Camera

Ideal: live webcam stream from sources in New York

Reality: use timelapse video (computer not fast enough to run the program with live feed in real time)

Code: https://github.com/hellonun/liveweb/tree/master/pinhole%2024%20hour

Results:

1 image = 1 hour

Only the stills remain

The interesting things about this:

  1. hours of sunlight in different seasons
  2. camera motion
  3. even level of light in timesquare (bright all day)
  4. rain marks on camera during Hurricane Sandy

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Mirror Draw (with Eva Phillips)

The class sees the mirror on the screen, an extension to the room they’re sitting in (webcam placed above the screen). Each person can tune in to draw their environment in the virtual space.

Code: https://github.com/hellonun/liveweb/tree/master/mirrordraw_iphone

This code only works with iPhone because Android phones require a different calibration method (the angles given by each phone brand’s gyroscope is different).

Test algorithm:

Actual space:

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THE MOUSE (MIDTERM)

The idea: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A ‘MOUSE’?

Let’s assume our bodies, made up mostly out of water, are flattened, digitized and resized into a few black and white pixels a.k.a. a mouse.

Our movements and expressions, walking, turning around, nodding, smiling become clicking, double clicking, right clicking, sliding, scrolling, scrolling and scrolling…

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WE ARE ONLY SEEN AS XY COORDINATES NOW

Most of the time we spend on the screen, we’re being perceived as two numbers which define our position in the space, our presence is just a few pixels in this enormous screen space

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WE ALL LOOK THE SAME

We are pointers of different variations. Our actions are guided by how our bodies interact with the environment; that moment when a mouse turns into a finger suggesting that we click, or the rainbow wheel of death telling us to slow down

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WE THINK WE’RE ALONE

Have you ever seen more than one mouse on a screen? We only see ourselves; although a million of us could be on the same webpage at the same time. Are we really alone?

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WE’RE ACTUALLY MORE EXPRESSIVE

We don’t feel as awkward about addressing uncomfortable questions, even when we’re sitting in the same physical space and sharing the same digital environment

So… what does it REALLY mean for us to be mice? And how can we design a more exciting web experience around it? (Also, doesn’t it sound funny, that instead of ‘a mouse’ we’re mice?)

Inspiration: http://donottouch.org/ 

Code: https://github.com/hellonun/liveweb/tree/master/getting%20to%20know%20the%20mouse

*insert video*