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ITP Winter Show 2008 » Light Chimes

Jason Krugman

Light Chimes

A tactile interface allows you to trigger patterns of pulsing light

Networked Objects,Project Development Studio (Danny Rozin)

My motivation for this project was to create a dramatic response to simple inputs from the user, encouraging play and experimentation. Light Chimes plays off of the satisfaction we get from running our hands along things as we walk by. A simple brush of the hand yields a pattern of pulsing lights that lasts for a few seconds. The interaction is satisfying because it is easy to understand. A simple circuit translates a common gesture into an electro-mechanical result. I believe there is great potential for public artwork like this.

I have been developing "hook switches" like the ones used in this piece. My thesis is based around them and experimenting with them at varying scales.


User Scenario
As people walk down the hallway, they brush their hands along the array of switches. This triggers pulses of light down the hallway and also causes the fluorescent tube above their heads to spin in relation to the direction of their swipe.

Each wire and eye-hook combo acts as a light switch. A safe-to-touch voltage runs through the switch. When the switch is closed, it triggers the closure of another, higher-power circuit that turns on a corresponding incandescent bulb. The low power circuit runs at 9 volts DC. This circuit, when closed, switches the state of a relay, allowing current to flow through the 120 volt AC circuit.

People love simple rewarding interactions.