After spending week 1 researching and acquiring thermochromic paints for my original concepts, the issue of finding the right heating source and time needed to experiment with unfamiliar materials seemed unrealistic for a 2-3 week time frame. I decided in the second week to rethink my idea completely and focus on something that was simple, compelling and at the same time within my abilities so that it could be executed well. During a short walk through the park, I saw a family playing with liquid bubbles and became fascinated by how this simple toy could provide such a source of joy and entertainment for both adults and kids. Thus, the bubble wand idea was born.
This bubble piece will involve 2 interactions between two or more people.
Interaction #1: Making bubbles.
I will 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. I’d also like to consider incorporating a musical element as well based on the speed at which the bubbles appear.
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.