Category: General Posts

EMF Glove

Super Duper EMF Glove

link to gist:

link to schematic:



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.

Next Steps

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:
WiFi detection
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.

Maker Culture Part3: And to you.

We are in what is called the Maker Culture, a DIY rich environment where almost everyone can and have access to the materials to make their ideas come to fruition. Makers can range from engineering scientists to the average man with a free weekend. Thanks to the creation of modular programming and modular robots, such as the Arduino series of modular boards, anyone with access to the internet can learn the basic skill sets to create an idea they have. The Maker Culture is heavily based on the community work from one to the other, in a chain of people helping each other achieve their ideas. Not only the community helps, this is such a profitable area, that we have business revolving around helping those people achieve their ideas:
Funding your idea, pitching with you to fully unravel how possible your idea is, the objects you would need, the public you would attend to with your idea and helping you achieve the knowledge you would need to put your idea in practice. Those are known as Incubator Enterprises. One Toronto example would be the Studio Y



Credit: Google Images

The 3DPhactory logo

Building your ideas, creating the shapes and cutting the materials you need in the shape you desire to perfectly fit your designs, getting the most cost-efficient for you to be able to develop it further and prototype it faster. Those facilities are known as 3D-print and Lazercutting Labs, much like 3D-Phactory is.





Discussing your idea, helping you maximize the output of it, improve it and helping you learn the necessary skills in a collaborative environment together with other people that have the same goals as you: develop their new ideas. Those friendly spaces are known as Hacklabs, much like HackLab and Site 3 are, both located in Toronto.



credit: Google Images

indieGoGo logo

credit: Google Images

KickStarter logo

Advertising your idea, getting the public to know it, helping your idea receive the popularity it needs to soar high into the skies and acquire the popularity it needs to rocket off to the market. Those spaces are essential for you to be able to actually make money out of your idea, since you cannot have a product selling only to two or three people and getting it to be popular without much help can be harder than expected. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are great companies, IndieGoGo having a branch in Toronto and Kickstarter in NewYork.


With those companies extending their doors and hands to you, the public, one can be able to produce their ideas with much more ease than before, all one needs is the starting impulse to go forward and try their ideas. But wait, people can still be too shy to show their ideas, correct? They do not want to be shot down, and many don’t even give their ideas a chance. That’s where the Do it With Others communities take part. They are focused on helping their fellow DIY makers to achieve and enhance their inventions, all thanks to the internet database and anonymity, piles and piles of information can be shared around the globe to better help and provide more satisfactory results to the Maker.

Maker Culture Part2: To the present…


Credit: Google Images

Manchester Mark 1, one of the fist computers

From our last post, let’s advance a bit further in time. While “computer” machines have been around even as early as 100BC, they have evolved in tandem with the scientific world and their advances. From the General Purpose computing device of Charles Babbage to the Hypothetical device of Turing Machine, created by Alan Turing in 1936 that pretty much dictates the definition of computers today, we have evolved the computers to be more efficient and faster ever since, to the point in time, where thanks to  Nikolas Tesla Alternate Current, whose main characteristic is being able to be send for long distances and another invention, the Morse Code, by Samuel Morse, Joseph Henry and Alfred Val in 1836, the idea of a interconnected network was born.



Credit: Google Images

The ARPANET starting network

In 1960, the US government created the first intercommunicating network, the ARPANET and not much later, in 1980, the World Wide Web. Ever since, the internet has been growing exponentially each passing day, each time faster and faster thanks to new programs that allow people with less knowledge of programming and web-based code to create their own web-pages. The internet is already having theories of being compared to be a living organism and its astonishing creation of information is already surpassing the information we created ever since the first invention of “writing”.



Nowadays, inventors don’t have the same halts the old ones had thanks to those already having broken the ground and paved the way with their inventions. Now, one is free to propose and try their hands at creating anything they want as long as it is in the realms of reality, and some inventions, such as the levitating super conductor magnets and brain-wave reading headbands already tap the realms of what we could have called magic a few decades ago.


Credit: Google Images

ARduino, one of the cornerstones of DIY projects

Now, thanks to the internet’s connection and storage of information, as well as the invention of many “facilitator” machines, almost everyone with an idea can create it and patent it. Ideas no also don’t necessarily limit to physical realm as well, we have whole ideas and market for fully digital ideas, called software’s. That is the so-called Maker Culture, full of Do It Yourself kits(DIY), DIY  oriented communities that help explore and enhance those very same kits and even create new inventions that doesn’t necessarily use a DIY kit. the Maker Culture has a heavy “open source” policy, meaning anyone that creates a new invention or comes with a nice and interesting solution to a problem will most likely post instructions on how they achieved so or will sell for an affordable price the items they produced.




Source: internet is alive) magnets)

Maker Culture Part1: From the past…


Credit: Google Images

Pythagoras Bust

Credit: Google Images

Socrates Bust

At the beginning of time, there wasn’t much to invent. Homo Sapiens had just become aware of the dangerous world it lived in and that he would need tools to survive the land. The very first inventions where the wheel, fire and “writing”, which by the time was just drawings that represented something. With the passing of time, Humans made weapons, boats and wooden houses. Many of those ideas weren’t assigned to a inventor until the time of Greece, when philosophers would record their contributions in books and other manuscripts. As it turns out, inventions pave the way so more inventions can be made faster or easier, such as Pythagoras(570/495 BC) many contributions to mathematics and Socrates(470/469 BC) vast contributions to the fields of science. Though, you may also have noticed that many of those scientists were pursued at the time for their “heretic” findings.




Credit: Google Images

Leonardo Da Vinci

If we flash forward a couple centuries, we are now at 1450/1519 with a fellow named Leonardo Da Vinci, widely known artist for his many paintings and inventions that preceded his time in hundreds of years. What is also known, is that his inventions were many times taken as idiotic or simply too stupid to work, for the sheer fact they couldn’t test them at the time. He also contributed to many other fields of science, including natural science, mathematical studies and engineering. Now, we just have to leap a couple years to 1856/1943 to find another genius called Nikolas Tesla, a notable inventor, especially in the area of electricity and engineering, creating the Alternate Current, radio-controlled remote vehicles , induction motors and other advances.



Please take notice, that the further we go forward in time, the more advanced the discoveries become and the faster they occur. While we started with the Greek philosophers at around 500 BC, we had to make quite big leaps to effectively create other inventions, but when we come to 1000 AC forward, they start appearing in most fields at a much faster rate. This is due to how the writing, inventions and discoveries pile up from the past to the future creating a staircase where the new inventors can thread with more ease to reach for higher places.

Sources of part1:

Push and Studio Y


^ An example of some of the software that Push offers

On Thursday we visited the studio Push, located within the MaRs complex in downtown Toronto. Push is sport technology company started within MaRs that focuses on a wearable armband that helps competitive athletes refine their workout through scientific certified metrics. It began as a small company of about 3 people. They used a start up “assistant” located within the MaRs building to help get the ball rolling. The assistant helped train them in common business practices and marketing, as well as helping to establish their brand. The starting team had little experience in running a business so the help proved invaluable. The company knows it target demographic quite well and has tuned to their product accordingly, which was very important in their process. However, they intend to expand their target audience to more casual users. The company also emphasised the freedom of starting your own business.

This trip proved to provide some helpful insight into the operations of a start-up business. In many ways, Push reflects some of my own goals in terms of business. The person we were talking to emphasised the freedom and flexibility you obtain from starting your own business. This is one of the biggest reasons why I want to start my own business. I’ve never wanted to work for a large scale corporation where my word means nothing. It also fascinates me that the workforce is shifting from specialized employees to more multi-faceted employees who carry a variety of skills. This improves my disposition towards our course considerably. It makes me more comfortable about the future.

  1. Were there any money problems when you were starting out?
  2. How big was the team when you started and how big is It now
  3. What were some of things that Jolt taught you?


On the same day as Push, we visited the Studio Y space in the lower portion of the MaRs building. It was a welcoming space, filled with plenty of young students. Studio Y is a gathering place of young people from around the North America that come together to collaborate with each other. There are 25 “fellows” that make up the entirety of Studio Y. Every 8 months these 25 “fellows” change. These fellows each bring their own personal projects where they recruit the help of their fellows to assist them. They bring a new perspective that can be incredibly valuable to their projects. The system challenges they take on are similar in themes to their personal projects, except they are on a much larger scale. They invited us to communicate with them and raise discussion topics that would be debated in small groups. The topics ranged from more tangible discussions such as the concept of Online friends while some were more abstract, like the discussion on our ways of communication.

I found this visit to be an intriguing venture. I never really knew that such spaces existed, where students were brought in for 8 months – with all their expenses covered including room and food – and were given the freedom to pursue their own personal projects. It seems like an incredibly useful tool and also a very fun experience. The new perspective that these fellows could bring to each other’s projects sounds like perhaps the most useful part of the Studio Y experience. I’ve often found that having a fresh pair of eyes on something that you’ve been slaving over for hours can you can give some much needed perspective.


  1. How does one become a “fellow” in Studio Y
  2. What are the types of projects that are encouraged in Studio Y?
  3. What are the types of projects that you guys tackle for your system challenges?





New York Times and Bob Stein


The first visit of the fantastic New York Trip was the New York Times. The interior hallway had an incredible piece on display. It was the first sign that this trip was going to be incredibly memorable.  The piece consisted of multiple small displays that would display live feeds of the New York Times website. In the department itself, we discussed the R and D at the New York Times, and their approach to analytics and relationship with readers. Everything they use is stream based, allowing for live feedback. This allows for excellent feedback which is integral to running a news oriented service. They have many other feedback sources told through beautiful looking data visualizers. These help identify what he called “postures” in the readers, allowing them to discover and analyze trends. The goal is to deepen the relationship with the readers as opposed to increasing web traffic. “They aren’t chasing after clicks”

For me, this was by far one of the most influential visits for me. I never realized that the R and D department for something as big as the New York Times would be so open and friendly. The work ethic was incredibly powerful to me. Their focus on transparency and being honest to their readers and subjects was such a relief amidst all the speculation of piracy scandals. It was also a very collaborative environment. Everyone was always bouncing ideas off of one another. One of the incredible things however was how they aren’t pressured by the higher ups to create something that will increase revenue or readership. They are given breathing space which sounds like an incredible change from most corporations.

  1. Is the workspace a collaborative environment where you share ideas and make decisions together?
  2. What are the development times from prototyping to actually using something in the workspace?
  3. How do you feel about the scandals popping up about privacy and transparency?




(The game that I mention. It is one of the most powerful games I’ve ever played)

On the same day we visited the ITP department within one of the New York University buildings. We listened to a lecture by the amazing Bob Stein on the nature of publishing and fiction. Bob Stein believes that modern publishing is clueless to certain trends in the modern world. He showed that the trends are moving past static and non-interactive mediums for more interactive and collaborative mediums. Publishing companies are still stuck in past of non-interactivity and static-ness when everything is pointing in the opposite direction. In particular, he strongly believed that gaming is going to become the dominant form of fiction and literacy in the future. He cited games like World of Warcraft as an example of collaborative fiction, as each player works together to create their own worlds and stories. He also noted that games are introducing new forms and techniques of storytelling.

                This was another very interesting discussion that is actually quite relevant to family. I read from time to time but I am by no means a heavy reader. However, my father adores literature and is pretty much always on a novel or three. We don’t really see eye to eye on gaming as a source of well written narrative. Games such as the Last of Us has taught me that games can be an incredibly tool for storytelling. I agree with Bob Stein on many of the points he made. I also found his metaphor of the mountain to be quite profound. It has me looking into the past now to see if what he says is true.1

  • My dad believes that games are not a powerful form of narrative. What do you think is a good way to convince him otherwise
  • What are some games that you feel really push the boundaries of storytelling?
  • Where would you recommend starting in terms of looking at the past?



((I have no idea why its formatting my posts to squish the photos like this??????)))



1)Are there any possibilities for food-safe materials to be 3D printed and offered by Shapeways?

2)In what ways does Shapeways highlight its community members’ work?

3)Do you envision Shapeways building more facilities worldwide as the company continues to grow, or expanding the two existing spaces to accommodate for that growth?


When we arrived at Shapeways’s location in Queens we were introduced to community and outreach manager Eleanor Whitney. Eleanor gave us a tour, first showing us the office space where a team of designers were working on prepping user submitted files for printing. Eleanor gave us an overview of the tools the team uses and the process from user submission request to final shippable product. We then toured the factory first seeing the industrial grade nylon and plastic 3D printers. Eleanor discussed the ways in which desktop 3D printers differ from the industrial grade printers found at Shapeways. We then moved on to a larger room with more 3D printers and got to see the machines working up close. After that Eleanor directed us to the next room where finished batches were taken apart, cleaned off, and organized for either shipping or dying. Finally we returned to the office space and lounge area to further discuss how the company has evolved over the years as well as Eleanor’s own responsibilities as community and outreach manager.



Samples of 3D printed materials from Shapeways



What I found personally interesting about Shapeways was their growth and evolution as a business. As Eleanor Whitney explained the company started in the Netherlands. Very recently the company expanded by acquiring its factory space in New York by attracting investors looking to create manufacturing and tech jobs locally. In that way it was interesting to learn about a startup that was able to expand internationally yet still keep a small ecosystem of under 60 employees. It was encouraging to hear that a creative/tech company could gain the kind of attention Shapeways did to help invest in the growth of their company.


Evening Activity – MoMA


For one of the evening activities I had decided to visit The Museum of modern art with some classmates. We had arrived there on Friday evening and upon arrival the lady at the reception gave me multiple free admission tickets. I was happy to have more than one ticket; maybe she secretly knew that I easily lose my things. I was most excited to see the Game & the architecture exhibitions, as both subjects intrigue me the most. I was also looking forward to seeing Botanicalls, it’s a project done by one of my professors Kate Hartman. This plant saviour device was located on the third floor along with other familiar looking electronic devices such as Little Bits, Makey Makey etc… Across from these electronics was some beautiful and weird industrial design pieces. There was a really weird shaped laser cut table with hand-glued layers, which looked amazing. I was already impressed with the collection with in first 10 minutes of the visit. Down the hall form there was the long-awaited game exhibition. It felt warm in my heart to see game in an art museum. I tried playing one of the pong games there with my friend Anth. But sadly it was broken, which kind of disappointed me. We quickly scanned through the poster and illustration section and went towards the Music exhibition. Which was amazing! I loved seeing all of these old authentic musical instruments and ads that were great. There was also a cute small model of the Sydney’s Opera house there.




Finally after that, we arrived at the architecture section. They didn’t have models or cool looking structure, but there were some great community ideas scribbled on the wall. A lot of them spoke about how to best make cities efficient to create better living spaces. There was one about Mumbai and how people living on the street are treated by big corporations that want to make buildings in their living space. There was a great suggestion about addressing this issue. This issue is also very close to my heart as I’ve witnessed these things happen to people. After a great tour of the architecture section we headed towards the gift shop. The gift shop had great books and utensils that were super over priced, but amazing.


Overall, I was very happy with the visit as a lot of the projects there related to work we are doing in class. Such as game creation, electronic making and such. It was great to see a museum representing a future direction along with preserving the history.

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