There is Magic in the Air…and it’s called Bluetooth

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With the world spiraling out of control in the past year or so, we felt so out of control with our lives. We didn’t have a say with staying employed, with whether that vacation can actually happen before another lockdown. We felt so small compared to the world. That’s why our group wanted to explore the notion of “man controlling nature.” We wanted to use arduinos to give users the opportunity to change the weather and feel like they are in control of their lives and even the sky. Our goal was to explore the proximities between people and their environment, and how this can impact the way we view the world and share connections. This was the interaction that held the most meaning for us.

The installation we created is made up of two parts: the cloud and the wand. We designed and built everything from scratch using a variety of materials. The cloud comprises of a wooden structure made of bamboo sticks covered in a LED strip and cotton. The cloud was hung on the ceiling using wire; inside the wooden structure we placed an arduino and circuit which could send instructions to the LED strip. The wand was made using a stick and plastic bottle and covered with hot glue and acrylic paint. Inside the wand we placed another arduino and batteries which would collect and send information to the arduino in the cloud when in proximity to it. For this project we started out with two command gestures: point down, and twirl which would send different signals to the cloud. The first gesture will cause the cloud to have a thunderstorm-like effect with flashing blue and purple lights and a thunder sound, while the second signal will cause the cloud to display a rainbow of changing colours.

For this assignment, we used two Arduino BLE devices with the one in the cloud being the central that reads the data and generates an output, and the one in the wand is the peripheral which collects the data and sends it along. Because the cloud is fixed in location, the user can make their way around the cloud and cast spells from any angle given they are in proximity to the cloud. The cloud acts as both the technical beacon and the beacon for the magic to happen. Like J.K Rowling once said: “it is important to remember that we all have magic inside us.”

Experience Video: https://clipchamp.com/watch/ZvYsHTc8RwI

How it Works Video: https://clipchamp.com/watch/92o5SPeDhna

Final Project Images: 

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Development Images:

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The Code: https://github.com/ichangimathprayag/Exp4_MagicInTheAir

The Network Diagram: 

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Group members: Kelly Xu, Zhino Yousefi, & Prayag Ichangimath