Physical Interaction Design

Project: whispering to birds
by Belmer Negrillo & Luther Thie

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» Demonstration
» Output Box

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Input Box

The input box concept began by thinking about alternative pressures and ways to transmit a signal poetically. How light and delicate can we make this input? What is conjured in our minds by soft sweeping of a leaf on a surface? What kind of surprising output could be associated with the soft input? We settled on birdsounds as output and decided that "whispering" relayed the softness concept we were trying to convey.

The input box design process involved a great deal of exploration of the materials--two different microphone types--and behaviors. We first started with a condenser microphone and an amplifier circuit that had to be boosted using a transistor in order to get sufficient levels. There was a problem with high fluctuation in levels, so we tried using a piezo microphone. After many hours of scratching on several types of membrane and replacing the amplifier with an integrated circuit, we went back to the condenser microphone and got rid of the speaker that was causing an irritable high-pitched feedback loop.



Circuit Diagram
The Inbox uses a condenser microphone as vibrational input sensor and an LM386N-3 amplifier chip.

Source Code
(BasicX-24 Code)
ZIP file with project and the modules

  © 2002 Interaction Design Institute Ivrea