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.


Sensor Report - Magnetic Contact Switch / Reed Switch

Many of the magnetic contact switches I found are composed of two pieces. One side has a magnet in it and another side has a reed sensor in it. The side with the magnet will not have any wires coming out, but the sensor side will have two wires. Normally they are enclosed in a plastic housing that allows users to mount them with screws or press fit into a hole. The side with the wires and the reed switch is the part that will hook up to your microcontroller.

Magnetic door contact switch (from Adafruit)

Magnetic window contact switch (from Amazon)


MIDI Pull Chain Interface

For the MIDI interface, Anthony and I worked together to make a MIDI pull chain interface that is combined with effects controls. We were both excited to use pull chains! Essentially, you can build chords by turn notes on and off with the pull chain switches. The notes will sustain until you turn them off & you can tell if they are on/off when the corresponding LEDs are on/off.

We also made interfaces to control different effects. We have a sliding switch with springs back to the center that does pitch bending. The drum pad that has a piezo sensor under a piece of silicone changes note velocity.