Sensor boxes, pt2

by Dries De Roeck on January 12, 2010

During the last week(s) of 2009 I built a first version of the sensor box. In fact there’s nothing special to it, just a box with an Arduino and a sensor on a protoshield. The only functionality the box has is that when it is shaken, the white LED goes on for a couple of seconds.

The original goal I put forward was to create objects that could facilite people to think about sensor based technology without actually being confronted with the technology as such. Via this way people should be able to use sensors much like they use material or colour swatches. The key to achieving this is to put the focus on the interaction with the sensors and not on the technology as such. The ‘challenge’ should be for people to explore the object to see in what way the sensor reacts. Obviously there are several challenges to overcome whilst designing the object as such, a couple of examples;

  • Dimensions  – a handheld object is associated with devices like a mobile phone
  • Aesthetics, texture – colours and tactility have an impact on the interpretation of the object
  • Predictablity – when someone has used a sensorbox once, the discovery of the interaction with that sensor should vary over time. In the case of the shakebox, this could mean that the direction of shaking or the intensity has an effect on the output.
  • Output – the output of the sensor should be adjustable in order to trigger various ideas. For instance the LED should be interchangeable to a vibration element, a heat generator, etc.

So far, creating the box as a physical object has really catalysed my thinking – seems to work a lot better than just drawing things out on paper.

One comment

[…] a couple of previous posts I mentioned the sensor boxes I have been making. One of the ideas I’m exploring is how taking […]

by Three zones : Dream here on January 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm. #

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