I Think I May Scratch Myself in my Sleep is a project by Marco de Mutiis that depicts the inner violence of man through animating a dismembered piano. Without the strings to produce melodic tones, the hammers of the piano are left to flail about and rap against the cloth. The movements of the hammers are triggered by data received from internet sex convos, making their rapid tapping a manifestation of the internal frustration we suppress on a daily basis. While I don’t think I plan to make something this sophisticated for my final project, I really like this concept of taking data and representing it in an quirky, poetic manner.
The Pong Playing Flexible Screen on a Shirt is a pretty self-explanatory project: it is a T-shirt that also serves as an interface for playing pong. Wearable electronics has become a recent topic of interest of mine because it raises the question of how an article of clothing can be both fashionable and functional.
Speaking of wearable electronics, this pressure-sensitive conductive sheet seems to be a handy sensor to have for a wearable technology project. I was mostly drawn to it because it is a lightweight, cheap alternative to bend/flex sensors. In the example on Adafruit, it was used to create shoes that lit up with each step a person took – and building off that for inspiration, I thought it would be interesting to also make a project that focused on walking behavior.
1. Groove Gloves
I was thinking about creating gloves that play sound based on certain finger movements – an air piano, in other words. Each finger would have a sensor that gets triggered when that finger is bent, which causes the note corresponding to the respective finger to be played. Instead of buying 10 expensive flex/bend sensors, I was thinking about making my own simple ‘contact switches’ that can be used to determine whether a finger is bent or not. When the fingers are relaxed the contact strips will be disconnected, otherwise when the fingers are bent to a certain extent the contact strips will be connected, triggering the sound.
It would be interesting to incorporate a visual aspect into the gloves as well – perhaps an LED for each finger that lights up whenever a note is played. With these two attributes the ‘Grooving Gloves’ can be used as a visually appealing performance-art instrument.
2. Tread Carefully (backup plan)
While footsteps have a nice percussive sound, they do get a little boring after a while. With Adafruit’s FLORA and a few Velostats, boots can be made for both walking and music-making. These shoes allow a person to add some more spring to their step, because with every step they take a random note is played. But the greater the force is applied to the sensor, the louder the sound becomes; so if the wearer wishes to be less conspicuous, they would have to tread carefully.