24 Hour Responsive Reading Lamp (Behaviour)

This post is a follow-up to the fabrication post about the same project. Still a work in progress.

Overview

Lamp: Mkr1000 + Hue + Neopixels

The lamp is a combination of a Mkr1000, Neopixels, and Philips Hue. The Mkr1000 acts as a server, listening for http requests from the user-interfacing web-client, requesting time data from the WiFi router, and sending http requests to the Hue Bridge.

User Interface

Very bare bones at the moment, the web interface allows for users to select various functions for the light (for example, Candle Mode or Timing Mode).

The interface is made in p5.js. Once a button is clicked an http requests is formed and sent. I was having trouble/errors with the response, so the sketch ignores any responses.

Code Overview

Arduino

Web

Problems encountered

Epoch value and timer

The only timelapse documentation I have at the moment of the lamp is quite glitchy; for a while I could not determine what the problem was.

It turns out for some reason the ‘get epoch’ function from the WiFiRTC example was intermittently returning zero. I modified the code to continue requesting epoch forever:

Get Epoch
if (numberOfTries >= maxTries) {
    Serial.print("NTP unreachable!! Trying again");
    while (epoch == 0) {
      epoch = WiFi.getTime();
      numberOfTries++;
      Serial.println("Trying to get epoch");
      delay(1000);

    }
  }

24 Hour Responsive Light (Fabrication)

Similar to original Long Distance Reading Lamp, this bedside light is intended in its final form to connect people over distances. For this first iteration, however, my goal is to create a solid 24hr response cycle – a ‘default’ state, so that the lamp can work well as a standalone bedside light.

After experimenting with a few form factors (I really wanted to make a nice cylinder, inspired by Casper’s Glow Light), given the time constraints of this assignment (and the wallet-constraints of being a student), I settled on a cheap ($9), off the shelf diffuser. This allows me to focus more time on the interaction and progression, and less on fabrication and (potentially expensive) materials.

Hacking the light fixture to accommodate my extra circuitry wasn’t too complex, though I took care to make sure that the AC circuit was safe.

An underwriter’s knot helps provide strain relief.
Carefully soldered into the base of the socket, with as little wire exposed as possible.

Philips Hue for Games: Beyond the Screen

Video games are framed by the computer screen. The world of the game exists within that rectangle, and the ‘real’ world exists around it. What if we use connected lighting systems to extend the environment of the game beyond the screen?

For this project I have created a simple game of pong in which how well you are doing in the game is reflected by the world around you. Using a Philips Hue Bloom (or any “hue”, “sat”, and/or “bri” capable light), your progress in the game affects the brightness and colour of the room you are playing in.

Very simply, the longer you play, the more pleasantly cool and desaturated the light around you becomes. Whenever you ‘lose’ the light progresses some increment back towards a glaring, saturated red.

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A Long Distance Lamp (Version 01)

Brief

What I am intending to do and why.

Long distance relationships are tough. There are many technologies that help to alleviate some of the difficulties of distance, such as video calling, instant messaging, even connected devices that simulate physical touching. Yet long distances remain hard.

The solutions above all require an ‘active’ participation, each person must be engaged in the video call, or on the message thread, or with the physical device.

With this project I posit there is a space for more passive presence, a subtle “I’m here, but not active”. My partner and I enjoy simply reading in bed next to each other, each minding there own business but aware of and comfortable with the other’s presence.

The ideal end goal of this project is a pair of connected reading lights, with each light giving subtle and noninterruptive cues that the other lamp is present. I also intend to offer the possibility of subtle interaction, similar to a light brush of the arm or momentary eye contact.

Continue reading “A Long Distance Lamp (Version 01)”

Light Observation Week 5

The first thing I notice here is how bright the clouds appear. This is certainly an artefact of the camera as I do not recall the clouds being this bright – even with glowy New York underneath.

This clip records 1 frame every 60 seconds. The timelapse accentuates some sort of flickering during the night on the street – I’m venturing that it is the lights of the ground floor apartments but that is a guess.

There’s a beautiful short moment around second 8 where the brightness of the sky descends towards the horizon. a soft line in the sky between pink and blue becomes a hard shadow on the ground a moment later

The glittery window reflections make an interesting pattern on the building across at around the 30 second mark.