All posts by Ruojin Shi

Auto-Adjusting Volume Headphones

-What is it?

It is a headphone with an auto-volume controller and a led showing outside noise level.

This project has two parts, the p5 part and the LED part. The p5 part mainly controls the volume of music playing in the headphones. For example, in super noisy environment, the volume of music playing in the headphones would automatically become higher to allow the user listen more clearly, while in quiet environment, the volume in headphones would become lower in order to avoid disturbing others.

-For whom?

Everyone frequently uses headphones


Avoiding awkward situations and making life easier

Code Part:

p5- Full screen:

p5- Code:


LED & Arduino:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Volume Adjusting Part

My project is basically divided into two part, the adjusting volume part and the led part. In this week, I have done the adjusting volume part in P5, since most music players including mobile phones and laptops has mic themselves. However, for the LED part, due to the bad weather, the LED screen I bought online is still shipping and it is expected to be delivered by Monday. Therefore, I will do the part this week.


Sound and Light

In this project, I capture the volume of the music and draw the circulating shape in the middle of the canvas by using the amplitude in p5 library. In addition, I also use peak detecting tools to capture peaks of the music.



Reference for Final Project


This a project I found on Adafruit, called Larson scanner. I could refer to tech used in this project to build my LED part of the headphones.

Here is the link to more detailed description of this project:

Besides, there are also many sound simulation products in our daily life, for example the led shoes shown in the video.

Project Progress 1

In this project, I used the chance of studying sound and light in p5 to make some progress in my final project. I used the mic in computer as a basic detector, and adjust the volume of song played by the computer according to the volume of  noise detected by the mic. This is the volume-adjusting part.

However, I met some problems when I was trying to visualize the volume of music played by the computer. I wanted to show the wave of amplitude. But it always turned out to be a straight line. I think it  might be related to the volume adjusting part of my code, because when I commented the volume adjusting part, the wave of amplitude worked.

I am going to figure out how to connect these two part better.

full screen:



As technology became increasingly advanced over time, distance between people has not been such a problem as before. It is hard to tell at what time the globalization began. However, it is clear to all of us, especially the international students, globalization is indeed happening. In our daily life in the U.S., buying goods produced form some Asian countries, especially China, is not uncommon. Even some national flags are produced in China. Is it the highly advanced technology that causes globalization today?


In the reading, “It’s Not Technology That’s Disrupting Our Jobs,” the writer states that, contrary to our common sense that technology will replace human labor force,  our decisions about economy and policies cause the technology to change. From the author’s point of view, people update ways of operation and production in order to corporate with the emerging technology in the world. In this way, the productivity could be greatly improved. In other words, technology will not disrupt our jobs. What it is changing is the way we produce. The author also gives the example of industrious period workers to further support his point of view.


However, incorrect combination of human labors and technology and machines will lead to conflicts between profits and workers’ well-beings. In the reading about Amazon fulfillment center workers, Amazon is charged of being too strict to its workers in order to obtain higher level of productivity. I have been visited an Amazon fulfillment center in California, and what I found there is that, in addition to the human workers who pick and collect products from different shelves, there are also some robots assisting humans to do this. From my perspective, technology is developing, to some extent, so slowly that it might sometimes causes conflicts and problems to the workers. However, as it develops to be more mature, it will definitely help human to produce.


Following the tutorial, I connected array with the objects. I also assigned random colors to the bubbles. However, the problem I met is, when I tried to change the mode of bubble’s movement, there is always some problems as I comment in the code. Besides, I want to figure out how to change the color of bubble one by one when mouse is pressed.


full screen:



1: Auto Light and music Door

This is based on my previous project that when people are entering the door, the switch is turned on and starts to play music in the room. Also with distance sensor, lighting in room is also changing according to how far the person is from the door. The closer the person is, the brighter the light will be.


2: Study Efficiency Monitor

In our daily life, it is not rare to see that students who are trying to study are always be distracted by various kinds of thing, for example, Youtube videos, Instagram or text message. Therefore, the study efficiency is really low. I want to design a screen monitor that detecting the screen when users open other entreatment website for too long, and will have some tips on the screen to show that they are being distracted.  Therefore, students like me could be more productive.

3:Auto-adjusted Earphones

Sometimes, when people wearing earphones get into some very noisy environment, it  is hard for them to to listen clearly about  their own music. Therefore, I want to install a sound-volumn sensor into the earphones, and allows the earphones to increase the volume of music when the sound around it too loud, or decrease the volume when surrounding environment is quiet.


HYPER-reading response

In the reading, “The Digitize Everything” (editorial for the Economics), the writer mainly argues about the importance and potential power of digitization in current century. The writer believes that digitization is worthwhile for people today to explore and utilize more deeply. By the end of this reading, I find myself nodding in agreement with what the writer has to say, because the writer has developed a series of strong argument and reasoning in support of his argument.


The key to a successful argument is clear and logic reasoning in the passage. First, the writer gives the audience a powerful example, the Waze, to show the efficiency in production produced by digitization. The example given not only helped the reader to be more knowledgeable about the term, “digitization,” but also provides the reader a sense about the power of digitization, in the way that the author presents one of the most vital feature of digitization, which is non-rival. Based on this, the author argued that by digitizing without marginal production cost, people could produce more and even unlimited output when using limited resources. However, the author also came up with a question, that will innovations be used up. Instead of simply diving right in, the author presents both sides of the issue. First, the author points out that some believe the innovation will be used up based on the limited resources people have. Then, the author disproves this point by stating that innovation is not to create something completely new and has not existed before, but to recombine existing things and find what people has not found before. (p18)  In this way, the writer shows that repeating the process of recombination allows innovation to grow up to an infinite number. Thus, the innovation is hardly to be used up. By the same time, the author also points out limits and disadvantages of the infinite number of innovations, meaning that it takes a long time to find valuable ones that could improve people’s current living standards. Therefore, the author advocates the audience to explore more about the digitization and highlights that it is in-need to do so as well.

calling the future





var aSlider,bSlider;

var b=aSlider.value();
var r=255-b;
var c0l0r=color(b,0,r);

function setup() {
createCanvas(windowWidth, windowHeight);
aSlider= createSlider (0,255,100);
bSlider= createSlider (10,600,100);

function draw() {
var b=aSlider.value();
var r=255-b;
var c0l0r=color(b,0,r);


var radius = bSlider.value();

//background signs
sun (30,30);
sun (190,30);
sun (350,30);
sun (510,30);
sun (660,30);
rain (110,120);
rain (270,120);
rain (430,120);
rain (590,120);

sun (30,210);
sun (190,210);
sun (350,210);
sun (510,210);
sun (660,210);
rain (110,300);
rain (270,300);
rain (430,300);
rain (590,300);

sun (30,390);
sun (190,390);
sun (350,390);
sun (510,390);
sun (660,390);
rain (110,480);
rain (270,480);
rain (430,480);
rain (590,480);

sun (30,570);
sun (190,570);
sun (350,570);
sun (510,570);
sun (660,570);
rain (110,660);
rain (270,660);
rain (430,660);
rain (590,660);

sun (30,750);
sun (190,750);
sun (350,750);
sun (510,750);
sun (660,750);
rain (110,840);
rain (270,840);
rain (430,840);
rain (590,840);


text(“How is the wheather today?”,200,350)
text( “Temperature”,190,410);


function sun (x,y){
//background signs appear



function rain (x,y){
fill (255);

Visual Element

moving circle:


var circleX=0;
function setup() {
createCanvas(400, 400);

function draw() {



if (circleX>600){


Communication Evolution

In the evolution of different communications systems, it is notable that there is hierarchy of universality through different stages of evolution. The targeted goal is to “jump to universality,” meaning that the communication systems becomes common to everyone in the system by a sudden large change in functionality. Sometimes the universality could be achieved, instead of obtaining a hypothetical complete set of elements, (for example, pictograms in communication and language system,) by applying certain rules. For example, grammars and words are rules that utilized to organize a series of single elements and assign them different meanings. Every world could be represented by organizing the single elements in different ways according to the rules. There is a significant advantage of universality achieved by applying rule, it reduces complexity by producing powerful regularity. In addition, in terms of hierarchy of universality, the author takes the numbering system for example. At the early stage, people use tallying system as a popular system to record. However, with the appearance of counting system that enables people to avoid repeating the most basic and simplest process of tallying, an incremental improvement was made. In this way, the counting system could be more easily to use and applied in the daily life. Then, with the development of Babbage’s Analytical Machines, the digital system could represent and process more types of information, including images, sounds, videos, calculations, and other things.


In my opinion, universality and rules applied help to make the language more powerful and sufficient.  In addition, for instance, cultural evolution is much faster than biological evolution. Based on the example given in the passage, while it might take around 200 years of time to generate cultural evolution during the Enlightment, it always takes millions of years for human to have some stable physical changes.

Digital Self-Portrait

function setup() {
  createCanvas(400, 400);
function draw() {
  background(255, 204, 0);
ellipse(200, 200, 160, 155);
arc(200, 190 ,160 ,165, 3.14, 0, CHORD);

Reading Response to Embodiment

In the reading, “You Are Not Your Brain,” the writer states that human’s body plays a more vital role in terms of control the way human think and behave. His argument is based on several studies done by professional researchers in the world. Firstly, the author points out that languages people use in their daily life always contains a bunch of embodied metaphors related to the physical world that people’s body experiences. To be more specific, words that people utilize to expresses their feelings and thinks are always metaphors. For example, as people use “up” and “down” to describe their emotions, they are indicating that their body temperature is going up or down. The physical reaction people have to the change of surround environment influences people’s cognition. Then, in the other reading, “Siri Is Not ‘Genderless’,” the writer shows his point of view that gender is able to influence people’s experience and cognition when applied to technology. In other words, female voice of Siri, a genderless machine, enables technology and machine to reach human’s cognition and emotion. This indicates that, in order to help technology to reach human emotion and body, feminized voice is a successful way. What’s more important is that, based on reading before that talks about embodied metaphors, designers today could create more methods like the female voice to reach human’s cognation. As far as I am concerned, in addition to vocal experience, temperature, smell and other physical reaction to the exterior world could be utilized for computer to reach human’s body and even emotion.

Emotion Detector

Based on the door switch, I wish to design a system that can detect people’s emotion when they open the door, by detecting the pressure on the wall when door hits the wall.

I’m sorry, I can’t insert my photos here….


Here is the final video. But, without a pressure sensor, I replace it with an analog.

Reading Response

Similar to the six tastes that human beings can perceive, there are six main moral taste receptors, which we can turn into variables, such as care and harm, fairness and cheating, liberty and oppression, loyalty and betrayal, authority and subversion, and sanctity and degradation. Contemporarily, especially under the context of the United States, our moral values are pertinent more closely to the liberty and fairness. Since people are living a more independent life, more diversified ethnical values can be resulted. With that said, we measure and compare what we give and what we receive. If we don’t get as much as others gain, or we are not getting what we are paying for, then unfairness would lead us to ask for change. Therefore, it’s reasonable to argue that machines can’t make moral decisions. Technology can both make it hard and easy to make moral decisions. The cyber community constructs a closer interrelationship among people, exposing us to more and more societal issues that may not be relevant to our individual life. As a result, moral decisions are often associated with fame and reputations, which intimidate people from fulfilling their moral decisions.

Door Switch

In the first step of my project, I designed the switch by using door. Then, I added this program to enable the door to indicate the number of people in the room. For the first three times of lighting, it is slow and indicates that there are few people get inside. For the later ones, the frequency increases, indicating that there are more people inside the room.

Here is the coding for the program.

Arduino code

Here is the video to test and show how the light works.

This is the door switch!



In the reading, Bret Victor disagrees with imagination about interaction in the future in the video, namely Vision of The Future produced by the Microsoft company, and believes that future usage of tools could be more interactive by wisely using people’s hands.

First, Bret states that the vision created in the video is not inspiring and even outdated by saying that “This vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It’s a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo from an interaction perspective, is terrible.” In order to solid the ground of his statement, Bret further explains other ways that people interacts with other tools by firstly giving a clear definition of tools, that is “a tool addresses human needs by amplifying human capabilities.” He points out that in the video, sliding a finger along a flat surface is the most fundamental way that people use their hands. However, in our daily life, there are much more functions and ways that human could manipulate their hands. To be more specific, the imagination about future in the video lacks the way people interact with the outside world, thus becoming less visionary and insightful. For the future, the writer advocates the audience to break limits in the video about interaction.

In the first project, namely “Switch,” I was inspired by the sign of switch that people normally use in diagram of circuit.  The touch point of the door and the metal standing stuff becomes the connection point of the switch. Therefore, when the door is opened,the LEDs light.

Here is the circuit diagram.

These are details and process of the switch system.

Last, the video is shown below.