Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smartobjects which are gaining more and more traction in the design world. These smartobjects have the potential to be far more interactive and emersive than ever before. What is exciting is that its becoming increasingly easier and cheaper to become a part of, with DIY and hacker communities initiatives such as Maker Faire, Instrutactables as well numerous other organisations & people showing the growing interest in this area. Done as part of the Making Studio Class taught by Becky Stern in the Products of Design Masters Program at School of Visual Arts. This project aims to capture the essence of this style of designing, where ideas, thinking and process are shared for others to use and expand on.
On one hand ‘Cloud’ is an Arduino controlled, motion triggered lightning & thunder performance. On the other it is a music activated visualizer & suspended speaker unit.
The cloud is made by felting hypoallergenic fiberfill to a sponge casing which forms the frame of the cloud and holds the speakers and componentry. The felting tool used is a custom made felting tool made from the left over sponge and 4 felting needles. To control the functions of the cloud there are three tactile switches scattered around the base. The concept references real clouds which constantly change shape through the switches requiring constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.
Acting either as a semi-emersive lightning experience or as speaker with visual feedback this Nightlight – Nightspeaker hybrid introduces not only a new discourse for what a nightlight is or cloud be but also what a smartobject is or could be?