Physical Interaction Design

Project: whispering to birds
by Belmer Negrillo & Luther Thie

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Project Overview

whispering to birds
enables a poetic interactive communication between a human being and imaginary birds. Using a leaf as interactive artifact, the "whisperer" lightly brushes or taps the input box. These behaviors are indicated by several actions corresponding to the amount of vibration and velocity generated by the leaf. The microphone sensor then transmits a particular series of serial bytes to the outbox. The outbox analyzes the stimulii for a specific amount of time to set a behavior, and then reacts by choosing a combination of 1 to 7 birdsounds and a motor-controlled "flapping" of wings.

Our intention with the leaf as input element is to create a delicate input: soft strokes invoke the bird reaction as if we are enacting a mode of communication with our feathered friends.

The inbox uses a condenser microphone as vibrational input sensor and an LM386N-3 amplifier chip. The outbox uses a DC motor, the ISD2532 soundchip, and 2 speakers powered by the LM386N-3 amplifier chip. Both boxes use the BasicX-24 microcontroller.


Input Box
Photos, Code and Circuit Diagram.

Output Box
Photos, Code and Circuit Diagram.


Videos detailing the function of the boxes


Source Code (BasicX-24 Code)
» Input Box
» Output Box

Circuit Diagrams
» Input Box
» Output Box


  © 2002 Interaction Design Institute Ivrea