Super Duper EMF Glove
link to gist: https://gist.github.com/le-mason/20f09c6406caa5b85755
link to schematic: http://i.imgur.com/WKYd8C2.png
The EMF Glove uses a canvas/leather work glove to house the micro controller, speaker and copper antenna. The glove fits most hands, and is pretty comfortable to wear for extended periods of use. The device is powered by a small USB chargeable battery pack that can easily slip into the wearers pocket during use, ideally an updated version would have the battery housed within the glove along with the rest of the components.
To operate, the user will need to connect and turn on the battery. By pressing and holding the battery button, 4 blue lights will activate signaling that the device is powered. The device works similarly to a capacitive sensing device where a charge exists across the antenna and as the charge is discharged by surrounding electrical interference, the arduino calculates the difference over a short time intervals giving us a value that can be manipulated. In this case, the value is used to create sound that changes based on the distance from interfering objects.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to develop a wearable device that could interpret the invisible signals that surround us in our daily life. While searching for solutions to my initial WiFi glove idea, I stumbled upon a neat little script for detecting changes in the electro magnetic field. Since it didn’t require any components I didn’t already own, I was instantly set on utilizing this method for detecting the wireless interference.
Construction was fairly straight forward. I constructed a coiled copper antenna with some scrap copper I’ve had lying around my workbench for a couple years, soldered a 3.3 MO resistor to one end, and a small, leading piece of wire to the other. inserted the lead wire into pin5 and the resistor end into ground.
I began testing the reactivity of the prototype, placing it near my computer, my phone, wall outlets anything I could think of that might create some interference. The results were fairly minimal on average, but I did discover that lamps and other lights caused very strong readings. I wanted to create a more entertaining output though, so I decided to use the tone library to generate some audio based on the values. The sound was ok, but was a little laggy. I discovered that you can analogwrite values directly to a speaker pin to get some really raw sounding audio so I ended up doing that instead.
I wasn’t totally satisfied with the output though, I felt it needed more ‘pizzaz’ so I tried getting my adafruit neo pixel to light up based on the interference strength. I hadn’t used the neo pixel ring before, and soon discovered that it need its own power source, the 5V from the arduino wasn’t enough for it and the res of my components to operate with. I was running out of time, so I scrapped the addition of neo pixel and started adding the components to the glove. Initially I was only going to prototype with the work glove, and would use a slightly classier looking leather glove I found for the final. In the end, I wasn’t able to affix the build to that glove though, so I instead stuck with the original glove.
Overall I’m extremely happy with the feedback the glove gives, it creates the exact kind of curious play I was hoping to incite when people try it on and start messing around with it. I am however, extremely disappointed in my own time management during the last 2 weeks of class. I had so many simultaneous assignments and I wasn’t able to complete any of them to the degree of success I wanted.
Moving forward, I hope to build the EMF Glove 2.0 over the summer. It will hopefully feature:
Neo Pixel ring feedback
Smaller controller, maybe a tiny, lillypad, or some other IC\
Higher polish in build quality
More powerful speaker & headphone jack
SInce the only real cost and bulk in the components is the micro controller, if I can bring down the size and cost of it I may be able to produce 10 or so units to experiment with in a group setting like Nick suggested during the critique.