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Interactive Light

@jaredrawk @argodesigned

Looking at his body of work, it’s been observed that he has an obsession with turning on and off lights.

Sources of light:

  • fire
  • RGB LED’s
  • infrared light: led’s or depth sensors
  • projectors - especially ultra-short throw projectors (can cover a huge table when placed only 12” above it)

Science of light, important, but for a later conversation 😃

Consider these things about light:

  • aesthetics
    • the colour of the light combines with the surfaces it hits, giving it a differing appearance, a familiar one, as opposed to the bright lights glaring out of devices
  • information
    • carries lots of feedback about the object for the viewer
  • magic
    • the visible part of light is what’s of interest to him
    • infrared is magical in that you can’t see it

Social lamps

  • focused infrared light can approximate the human gaze, about a 20 degree field
  • TSOP 38, a diode that can screen out infrared light unless it’s interleaved at 38hz (can get differing frequency diodes)
  • SparkFun Red Stick - Arduino Uno on tiny little USB board, plugged into iPad power adapter for power, plug the adapter into Edison adapter, screw it into a lamp and you have a portable lighting computer.
  • goal of project was to turn off lamps based on how many people are gazing at them
  • use Adafruit NeoPixels and Uber Guide (don’t cheap out on LED’s, often they don’t work well and will fail, probably need to spend $0.50 per pixel to get good quality)
  • often when developers switch to hardware, they area mystified by the hardware and how it works, takes a long time to learn debugging hardware
  • used a little infrared emitting badge to send out pulses read by TSOP

RGB Wall

  • original sketch for the concept, actually had no RGB wall, did feature the social lamps though
  • led to working with LED tealights with RGB controls by remote
  • started figuring out how to wire all the tealights together rather than using the batteries
  • got little custom dowels from Vancouver company called Bare Woods to stick into the battery compartments
  • “I had no idea what I was doing at the start. I just wanted to build a giant lightbrite, one Google search at a time.”

Mixed Reality

  • did some concept videos
  • started building prototypes, ie. Pong on a table taop
  • learned about the kinds of interfaces needed for these mixed reality experiences
    • fitment - making sure you have flat, clear spaces to project onto - using Kinect to find those spaces in the environment
    • participation - the interface invites the user to interact with the environment
    • augmentation - what is it that you actually put on the surface? often ended up using white light to project UI, data and feedback
    • coordination - identifying what is on the surface, the kinds of objects so that you can respond accordingly - lots of calibration, machine learning, etc