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Prototyping: Stage 3: Group Test

Group Test 2

This test was done with a group of people. To observe how people they might interact with it in natural settings, I did not explain it to them but asked them to explore it by themselves. After they finished, I asked for their feedback.

Observations and Feedback:

- Women’s long clothes covers the knob when they sit, which makes them unable to use it.
- Women close their legs when they sit. The position of the knob is not appropriate for them
- Screwing between legs in the public is an awkward act.
- Tall people have to bend down little bit to control the knob.
- Most people recognize the use of the knob after a while.
- One of them said that he though that the knobs were for controlling volume
- Some said that they will feel more relaxed if the knob was on the side.
- They start with changing their positions to figure out different patterns.
- Most people used their hands to activate other patterns.
- One of the participants showed another way of using the bench by laying on it to take a rest.
- Most of them said that they are willing to participate with strangers.
- Most of them said that they feel a non-verbal connection with other participants.
- One said that he felt that he was musically connected, but he also might give a comment with others.
- Some said that it makes them cross boundaries and close the space people normally leave between each other.
- One said that if a stranger came and sat next to him he will definitely stay more.
- One said that it would be more interesting if it had more visuals.
- Some of them said the lights will help them identify their sounds more easily.
- Some said it has the potential for one person to perform.
- One said that he will use it in another way if he was with fiends. They might lay down on one side of the bench.
- One said that he will accept it being installed for up to one month.
- Each participant differs in terms of the time he/she will spend on the bench.
- Some participants said that they find the experience relaxing and meditating.


PD Patch

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 00.08.09


The PD patch consists of:

  • Arduino to PD communication.
  • A loop of bangs.
  • Photoresistors banging mechanism.
  • Eight sets of patterns, each set consists of four unique patterns.
  • FSR Mechanism for choosing the set of patterns
  • Potentiometer control of midi values.
  • LED messages.
  • MIDI communication with Reason.

When the loop is running and a participant sets on the bench (a photoresistor is activated):

  • Based on the total weight of participants, a set of patterns will be selected, and the tempo will change.
  • Rhythmic bangs defined by the pattern will be sent with MIDI messages to Reason.
  • Those MIDI values are defined by participants through potentiometers.






Prototyping: Stage 3: Arduino Sketches

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 01.22.42 (1)

Testing out Octocoupler (02 May 2014)


Simple blinking LED code used for this experimentation. 1.5 volts IR LED and 5 volts LED are blinking respectively from the same arduino code, however both of them are powered from different power sources. Two circuits separated with an octocoupler.

Arduino Code is down below:

// Blinking Test for UV and IR LEDs //
// IR is 1.5 Volts, however UV 5 Volts //
// So Octotoupler used for two different cicuits //
//LTV4N35 used/////////////////////
//Arduino - Octocoupler //
/* PIN 10 = PIN 1 */
/* GND = PIN 2 */
/* -LED = PIN 5 */
/* -1.5 V = PIN 6 */
int led_IR= 10;
int led_UV = 9;
void setup() { 
 pinMode(led_IR, OUTPUT); 
 pinMode(led_UV, OUTPUT); 
// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
 digitalWrite(led_IR, HIGH); // turn the Infrared LED on 
 digitalWrite(led_UV, LOW); // turn the Ultraviolet LED off
 delay(750); // wait for a second
 digitalWrite(led_UV, HIGH); // turn the Ultraviolet LED on 
 digitalWrite(led_IR, LOW); // turn the Infrared LED off 
 delay(750); // wait for a second


Making of complement surface


To be able to put different materials on the glass, and provide a tactile input to the spectator, a complement surface had been made by using Tinkerman method. Complement surface consists of a waterproof silicon, which was applied to a plastic film by using a soft foam roller. Yet, this process creates a texture very similar to human skin and responsive to the FTIR surface.

Digital Media – Final Prototype


 Prototype the Structure

Several custom built hardwares and advanced computing techniques had been used to build the interface of this project. The physical structure consists of two basic modules which are, FTIR interface and Cymascope. Each module has almost the same body and when combined together, they create the entire installment. Additionally an Arduino microcontroller located inside of the FTIR module that controls most of the events happening inside the prototype.

The top surface of the FTIR module consists of 35 by 25 centimeter piece of 10mm thick acrylic glass. Also, the frame that holds the glass in place is covered with a custom made array of Infrared LED’s. These special LED’s emits only infrared light which is not visible to the human eye. A similar system could be built with normal LED’s however, it would cause serious problems such as, being affected by natural or ambient light, as I experienced in my previous prototypes.

To be able to put different materials on the glass, and provide a tactile input to the spectator, a complement surface had been made by using Tinkerman method. Complement surface consists of a waterproof silicon, which was applied to a plastic film by using a soft foam roller. Yet, this process creates a texture very similar to human skin and responsive to the FTIR surface.

The materials that create a texture on the FTIR surface are, mat (represents the distortion effect), bubble wrap (noise effect), soft towel (ambient echo), and table cloth made of synthetic cotton (delay effect). Pressure that spectators finger will apply on these materials, going to measured by a touch sensor located below the frame and going to set the effect level. As the spectator touches on the materials, relative effects will be triggered and applied on the ambient sound.

FTIR surface video can be found on this link:

An Arduino microcontroller used to operate components of the prototype such as, LED’s and pressure sensor. Basically, it has three tasks to do. First of all, controlling the IR LED’s condition, whether they are switched on or off, to decrease power consumption. Since IR LED’s are 1.5 volts, an octocoupler used to separate two circuits that are working with different voltages. Secondly, controls the color of RGB LED’s to create unique color mixture on the liquid holder. Finally, gets data from pressure sensor which is placed under the acrylic frame.

Cymascope module of the installment consists of a black acrylic liquid holder, a speaker, sound transmitter tube, membrane and RGB LED’s. The final solution to transfer sound waves from the speaker to liquid is created by the influence of tonoscope. One end of the tube glued to the speaker and the other end enclosed by a flexible membrane. Thus, any interaction between the air inside and outside of the tube had been blocked. As a result, the motion created by up and down movement of the speaker can directly be transferred to the liquid holder. Ultimately, according to the vibration frequency different patterns can emerge on the liquid surface. Liquid holder has chosen to be black, in order to reduce reflections coming from other sources rather than LED’s. The reason why the RGB light sources located on the sides of the liquid holder is to make colorful patterns visible from all sides.

Cymascope video can be found on this link:


Colorful Cymatic Patterns

Sound level creates different color variations, also speaker placed under liquid holder creates emerging patterns on the water. Sounds of “city traces/soundscape city diary” ( from youtube was used as a sound source.


FTIR Interface – Blog Tracking and Sound Manipulation

Prototype Graphical Illustration


Making of FTIR 03-05-2013 (Testing out the whole setup)



Everything was ready and tested out. The result was satisfying…

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