Homemade Hardware

Final ESP8266 Circuit with IoT LEDs

picture of final circuit

The process of taking my breadboard circuit to SMB part circuit was such a struggle omg. Here is the board I ended up with, which looks really nice, but unfortunately does not work. Code appears to upload through the Arduino IDE, but there is some issue with the board stuck in a reset loop.

Even though my circuit doesn’t work, the code does work!!! It works 100% on my breadboard circuit and the Feather Huzzah. Here a screenshot of the main website that my circuit was supposed to be serving. I was able to control a whole strip of neopixels during my testing.

picture of final site

Keep reading to see the process of building my circuit.


Homemade Hardware

Progress on ESP8266 Circuit

prototype breadboard

website working gif

For my final project, I am planning on making a small grid of LEDs that can be controlled by users from a website that is accessible from anywhere. Users will not be able to see the LED grid unless they are physically present, but they can still make changes. Hopefully, people will collectively create images or simply play around. This is kind of like a small physical version of Reddit Place. My current code allows you to choose more colors for the LEDs, but the demo shown in the gif only has red and blue. Keep reading for my process.


Homemade Hardware

AtTiny85 and WS2812B Light

completed circuit working

I made a light that reacted to the external environment. I decided to use a photo-resistor and a temperature sensor to determine the color and brightness of the lights. I was inspired by Magritte’s painting “The Banquet” that I saw in Chicago last week.

I added some mounting points to mount material that will diffuse the light. There’s also a larger hole so this light can hang on a wall. I haven’t made the enclosure yet, but I’ll update the post when I do. I’m waiting for the snow storm to stop before I try to go to Canal Plastics… Keep reading for exciting gifs, troubleshooting, Eagle screenshots, and more!


Tangible Interaction

Lighting Controller Interface

demo gif

For my lighting controller, I wanted to create an interface where someone would be able to map the position of the lights to the positions of actors (or anything) in the space. I used 6 reed switches that would correspond to the location of the 6 lights in the ITP lounge. Small game pieces with magnets on them were able to turn the lights on when placed over these locations on the controller.

I wanted to give more control than on/off, so I added the ability to change the brightness of all the lights that were on with a potentiometer. There is an LED to visually indicate the brightness in case there are no game pieces on the controller. I also included a toggle switch that will turn all the lights on/off at once.


Voice Interfaces

Filling Out A Form Using A Voice Interface


For my voice interface, I decided to go for a more functional route. Sometimes it is time consuming or feels cumbersome to fill out forms by typing or writing by hand, so I wanted to make an experience where a user can fill out a form quickly by speaking the answers. There’s a demo video above and the full dialog flow is below.

dialog flow


Poetics of Space

Midterm - Three Scenes

Here’s a full video of me navigating the VR spaces that I created. I continued to add to the space I made from the previous “Recreating a Space” project. There aren’t that many VR experiences (or popular media in general) that capture experiences of Midwestern life so I wanted to portray spaces that are reminiscent of places in my home state of Michigan.

lake scene

I wasn’t intending on creating a narrative with this piece, but I intentionally built them to be a part of the same world. In making sense of the scene sequencing, I had the spaces meld into each other with the user seeming to transition through the trees and then into the corn field.

road scene

There’s also an element of timing where the scenes go from night to dark, suggesting that you’re spending a certain amount of time in each place.

corn field 1

In the last scene, there’s something jarring about being in natural spaces (through the unnatural portal of virtual reality) and then being pulled back to present through the iPhone ringtone. It’s little bit of the the reality within a reality, but mostly I was interested in how something can be familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

corn field 2