WinterShow2010_ ITP / NYU
"I wonder how much it would cost to buy a soap bubble, if there was only one in the world."
Liquid bubbles are one of those things in life that are joyous in their simplicity and inexplicably fascinating. Not only fun to make, but equally as gratifying to chase around and pop. This project takes the real life experience of making bubbles and enhances it through technology by giving people the ability to make bubbles of various forms. A bubble wand can be dipped into one of three glass jars to select the type of bubble. Each glass jar represents one of three different bubble forms. The wand can be waved around or blown on to create bubbles which will appear on a screen projection in front of the person. Loud shouts or claps will pop the bubbles.
interaction #1: Making bubbles.
Create a bubble wand with one or more sensors to detect sounds or vibrations (possibly an electret microphone or piezo vibration sensor) and/or accelerometer. These sensors will address the two ways people generally use a bubble wand, either by blowing on it or waving it around. When blown on, either an electret microphone or piezo sensor will tell Processing to generate bubbles. The accelerometer will read when the wand is being waved around. The sensors could also be able to detect how forcefully the wand is being blown on/ waved and generate more/less/smaller/bigger bubbles accordingly. The color of the wand will allow Processing to track through a webcam the location of the wand and therefore where the bubbles should originate. The idea is to have the Processing sketch projected on a wall with a webcam facing users to detect the wand color. (Multiple color wands could also represent differently shaped bubbles). As in real life, less bubbles will appear through time and will need to be replenished. When bubbles stop appearing, the wand will need to be dipped into a jar to recharge it. This could also be taken further with different jars for different color options of bubbles.
Interaction #2: Popping bubbles.
This second part of the interaction is ICM based. Also using the webcam and either OpenCV or Blob Detect, Processing will detect where bubbles and shadows meet and "pop" the bubbles, as well make a popping sound. FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Moving forward, I would like to figure out a way to incorporate a Bluetooth component to the wands to make it wireless. This was experimented with briefly, but was not incorporated into the final presentation due to some last minute coding/technical issues involving whether Processing could process two serial events (one from the wand's bluetooth for the piezo) and another from the photocells. I also would like to take this project to a much larger scale. To do this, I would need to incorporate a better infrared transmitter or look into a wide-range camera for better infrared detection.