Final Project Proposal

(Week 1/4)


The intention is to create a desk or hallway table that is able to communicate the movement of people within the building and their interaction with the table as a surface.

The hope is that the table will appear to be 'normal' until items are placed on it or someone directly engages with it. When interaction takes place the incorporated LED matrix which sits within the wood will illuminate and act as both an input and output to the user.

As people place objects and items on the surface such as keys the outline shape will be detected and mirrored by the LEDs. As items are then removed their outline will continue to be shown with them slowly fading and dissolving over time. This will allow you to see how long ago an item was removed and so indicate for example when the person left the house.

A potential extension of this as shown in the original design is to add an electromagnet under the surface so that items such as keys cannot be removed when certain conditions are present in the house such as leaving the iron on.

What's the prior art?

Matt Blackshaws Plain Sight - 2010

LEDs as Touch Sensitive Input & Output - Scott E. Hudson

Pong - Moritz Waldemeyer

What are the systems and components?

The table will be constructed from layered plywood which will be machined with the shopbot to create an inner pocket for the electronics. The matrix of LEDs will then be placed within this allowing the visible light to shine through the surface when illuminated.

The project will incorporate custom electronics for both the micro controller it self and also the associated LED driver boards. The use of an LED matrix will also be used to form both the input & output of the system. The resistance of the

Depending on the available time it would be interesting to build the Bluetooth transceiver into a moulded plug allowing the earth cable to be used for data transmission back to the table. This would create a reusable method for wireless communication other other later projects.

What questions will you need to answer?

How do you drive hundreds of LEDs?

How can you communicate with Bluetooth?

Can the LEDs work as input even through the wood?

Where am I going to put it in my house?

Original Design

Interactive Cube Project - Matt Blackshaw

Solidworks Animation Test