4/12/17 Final Project Prototype

When I originally came up with the idea of making a cube that remotely controls a response in processing, I had no idea what idea I was trying to portray. I didn’t want to make the controller just because I thought it would be cool — I wanted there to be meaning behind it. The box would initiate a response when a ball inside the cube came into contact with force sensors lining the cube’s interior. After Wednesday’s class, I decided to try incorporate brightness tracking as well. Whilst trying to figure out how these two inputs would relate, I started thinking about torches that are charged when you shake them or grind a handle.

Thus, I want it to feel like shaking the box is ‘charging’ it, so that the strip of LEDs pulses/ gradually fades up with the frequency/ duration of the shaking. Then I would like a ‘fully charged’ response e.g. the LEDs remain on and bright when a certain ‘threshold’ of shaking has been reached. When the box has reached a certain brightness, the brightness tracker will be correlated to register it.

At this point, I want the cube to act as a torch, just like in Dan Shiffman’s image processing tutorial. As the user moves the cube in-front of the camera, different parts of the projected screen will illuminated. I would like it to be a process of discovery, so that the user feels as if they are discovering a new world, with the cube lighting the way/ granting access. The world they are discovering will be a video file of a sci-fi landscape. As I write this I am listening to youtube chillmix playlists. These videos usually have a gif as the background to the played music. Here are a couple of examples:

This inspired me to look into having GIFs as my background landscape. For instance, these GIFs from a landscape shots in Blade Runner:

I would like to have multiple landscapes that the user can explore. To achieve this, I would have the landscape change when the cube becomes ‘uncharged’ i.e. after a certain period of time without shaking the cube, the LED’s will dim, and the brightness tracker will no longer register the cube — thus, the projector screen will turn blank, and the landscape will change. When the user next ‘charges’ the cube and reinitiates the brightness tracker, a new landscape will be revealed.¬†

I want to have the GIFs sci-fi themed not only to align with the theme of SPACE, but also to invoke the experience of discovering a new world through an unfamiliar landscape.

Below is a rough sketch of the cube and its components:

I can foresee the most difficult aspects of this project being the follow: Creating the ‘charging’ effect with the force pad input and the LED output; using the camera and projector; creating a structurally sound cube controller; and calibrating the sensor with the output for a timely response/ making the experience as intuitive/ responsive as possible.



XBee or bluetooth shield

projector screen


If possible, a curtained/ blacked out space



Using an XBee shield

Connecting an external camera

Using brightness tracker with a projector and external camera

Creating the ‘charging’/ ‘threshold’ effect with the force pad as input and the LED as output.

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