Thesis Prototype – Proximity Player

For this prototype, I focused on three specific aspects of the user and object interaction, which were:

  • proximity
  • user input via physical interaction
  • user relationship to the installation piece

Using an Ardweeny, small bread board, MaxBotix Ultra Range Finder, a small plastic encasing, hardboard, and a RadioShack speaker, I created a proximity-based sound box that is mounted on the edge of a bicycle wheel. The mount (made of leftover scraps of wood from the Physical Computing room here at Parsons) is attached to the wheel with zip ties.



I wanted to provide some form of physical input for the person interacting with the piece as well as recognize that if multiple people were involved, each person should have a unique sound experience. By including the bicycle wheel as the method for activating the installation piece as well as PVC pipe that can easily be moved, the user has a direct impact on the sounds that they hear.


As the sound box rotates around the hardboard platform, the PVC pipes that are placed on the platform trigger tones based on their distance to the sound box. The tone rises and falls as the pipe comes into and out of range.

I also started initial prototyping of possible patterns and designs that could be projected or otherwise provided on the platform. I initially played with simple patterns of circles, but based on a suggestion from classmate Brett Burton, I used patterns based on the golden ratio and the fibonacci sequence as well.

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