The Final Countdown…for pcomp (sung just like the lyric)

And So it begins, the search for projects that will define how we end intro to physical computing. In all honesty, this was a hard exercise. Having seen so many wonderful projects from my peers that were beautifully fabricated, functionally pleasing, and just outright awesome, I’m inspired and stressed about what to produce.  I waver between doing a project that highlights its aesthetics vs. a project that has a well defined design challenge. Here’s what I’ve brainstormed so far:

Motion sensing ballons

  • Use balloons
  • Use audio sensors
  • Use Piezo-touch sensors

Design Challenge: Taking an existing common party favor and enhance it via interactivity.

Why? Personally, this project affords me the ability to work with space, light, and motion. Balloons have always served as a party favor/piece. I’m interested in seeing how they can be enhanced.

Infinite Dice Game

  • Based on the Bowl-of-nouns game
  • Roll a dice and it randomly chooses a selection from the pool
  • Players get to sms-text the dice their ‘slips’ or categories
  • Dice holds infinite value (read: no need for paper)

Why? I’ve never been a big game oriented person. However, large games played at parties have always interested me. This game  is a combination of guess-who/charades/etc. and is absolutely fun to play in large groups. The design challenge of this is making a game that can be easily mobile, interactive, and allows people to engage with a physical object vs. pieces of paper which are normally needed.

Children’s Voice Box

  • Visualizes  input speech
  • Changes color based on pitch

Why? Many of my friends have begun to have kids and it’s been a joy watching human development via social media. The thing that always fascinated has been a child’s development in their first few years happen in distinct waves. In particular, a toddler’s ability to communicate. There’s an interesting design challenge in crafting a toy, which a child plays with and also responds to their in-the-moment rabbling. I’m particularly interested in visualizing the FFT waves of a child’s first words (or gibberish) and displaying it to them.

Lighthouse Controller

  • Uses a flashlight as a controller
  • User points light on a grid of photocells
  • Uses a proximity sensor to vary speed (further you are the slower you go) (closer you are the faster you go)
  • Display a maze on a screen
  • Objective is to get out of the maze as fast as you can with the controller

Why? This goes back to my previous statement of not being a big gamer. While this may be true, I’m still interested in seeing how sensors can be used to make a game interactive beyond a typical controller.