Arduino

Firewall

This morning I find myself in a situation that says “wait”. Since I have a WiFi connection and my iPad, it gives me the opportunity to spend some time surfing the web looking for cool stuff I wish I had thought of. Firewall is one of them.

Developed by Aaron Sherwood, with Mike Allison using a stretched piece of spandex for the interface, Processing as the software language and Arduino and a Kinect as the controllers they created something pretty spectacular.

The Kinect measures the average depth of the spandex from the frame it is mounted on. If the spandex is not being pressed into nothing happens. When someone presses into it the visuals react around where the person presses, and the music is triggered. An algorithm created with Max allows the music to speed up and slow down and get louder and softer, based on the depth. This provides a very expressive musical playing experience, even for people who have never played music before. A switch is built into the frame which toggles between two modes. The second mode is a little more aggressive than the first.

Clouds, an Interactive Film from James George and Jonathan Minard.

There is a brave new world of art meets programming that has been emerging out of the shadows for a few years now. Artists are using open source programming languages like Processing and Arduino to take complex ideas and render them into real works of interactive art.

The video below from  is an interactive film that documents and interviews a number of these emerging artist.  James George and Jonathan Minard have launched a Kickstarter about 6 months ago to complete this interactive film and I hope they meet their goal. With 39 days left they have attained about a third of the money they need.

The trailer for”Clouds” has a great look, and listening to the artists that are interviewed are truly inspiring.  Take five minutes on this Friday morning and give it a look.

“Over the last year the team has captured interviews with over 30 new media artists, curators, designers, and critics, using this new 3D cinema format called RGBD. CLOUDS presents a generative portrait of this digital arts community in a videogame-likeenvironment. The artists inhabit a shared space with their code-based creations, allowing you to follow your curiosity through a network of stories. The interview subjects in CLOUDS include Bruce SterlingCasey ReasDaniel ShiffmanGolan LevinGreg BorensteinJer ThorpJesse Louis-RosenbergJessica RosenkrantzJosh NimoyKarolina SobeckaKarsten “Toxi” SchmidtKyle McDonaldLindsay HowardRegine DebattySatoru HigaShantell MartinTheodore WatsonVera GlahnZachary Lieberman and many more.”

The Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet. (my city needs this.)

Last evening when I was driving around Westport looking for a parking spot I wished I had some way of knowing where available spaces were. I had the same wish the day before on the Plaza which has turned into a giant valet parking zone. It seems Kansas City businesses like the idea of valet parking, and the city likes putting up tons of “No Parking” signs these days. If we only had the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Fleet in this town.

Mercedes cars equipped with a GPS unit, a modified Arduino board, wireless internet, and a camera are patrolling the streets of crowded German cities sending tweets about available parking spaces to smartphone owners everywhere. It’s a great idea. If we had it in my city I’d use it all the time.

By the way, I might have gotten my translation of the equipment wrong. I don’t speak German and I was using a speech to text translator on my phone to convert the dialog to English. German-speaking readers feel free to send me any corrections or additional info that I might have missed.