interaction design physical computation • arduino & RFID
House Diorama records the collective mood of a space by inviting participants to offer up their emotions via a set of six totems.
It’s simple, and brings about a sense of domesticity. This short exploration, intended for a shared accommodation or dwelling, is a way for its inhabitants to track their collective mood.
House Diorama consists of two parts, a paper model of a typical farmhouse, and six totems meant to visually represent our feelings. Users choose totems reflecting their current mood and the algorithm slowly sorts out a “cumulative” mood.
The six totems do not represent the full range of emotions and only a select few — stressed, calm, curious, neutral, sad, excited. These emotions are captured in the features present in each totem. Rigid and stepping sides could suggest a level of stress, while a lone protrusion amongst a heavy base could suggest sadness.
Each form is optimized to be 3D printed in black filament without supports.
NFC tags are inserted into cutouts on the bottom of the totems
The house is a paper build of a typical farmhouse. It has the gable roof, the wrap-around porch, the hearth and chimney, and paned windows.
Its construction consists of three layers — an outer layer with framed openings, an inner layer for the paned glass, and a diffusion layer of trace paper.
A base, CNC milled out of pink foam, sets the house upon a slight hill, and contains the electronic components as well as a small divot for the totems.
Left to Right —
Calm [65, 200, 20] Neutral [255, 220, 240]
Left to Right —
Curious [170, 20, 150] Excited [255, 100, 100]
House Diorama utilizes an PN532 RFID scanner along with NFC tags to communicate with the tokens.
While there were complications with directly reading the contents of each chip, the solution was to refer to their unique UIDs instead. The seven byte UIDs could be simplified even even further if two bytes are taken and multiplied, resulting in a fairly unique integer to work with in this scenario.
PN532 RFID Scanner picks up on signals from up to 10cm away
Each of the six NFC tags are assigned a set of three default values. In one iteration, all emotions were considered to fall within the spectrum of Excited, Calm, and Stressed.
There’s no supporting evidence of this when dealing with human emotions, so the alternate direction was to assign RGB values as defaults.
The algorithm seeks differences between the RGB values to determine an “average” throughout the day. Scanning each tag will change the current color value.
Testing tags represented by unique IDs, which alter the color of the light