Rapid prototyping for music, art and design work

Hack Hat (+reflector)

In winter in Finland, hats are not so much fashion accessaries as indispensable life saver. So much so that I can see as many kinds of hats as the number of people here. I myself wear hat everyday and have knitted tens of hats and it dawned on me that doing some experiments with hats could be interesting and practical as well. The parts of hat: brim, strings, pompom, earflaps, buttons …etc. might be good interfaces acting as switches, sensors or actuators.

사진 (5)

Of course, there already exist tons of examples about hats, nevertheless most of them in no way look good and practical. I’d like to make a step forward to make them look better (or/and funny) and wearable as it is. (Most experiments with wearable tech cannot be wearable in reality. Who on earth is willing to wear hats with tangled wires and batteries?)

There could be multiple of or just one prototype but I’d like to make as many as possible. My goal is to work on some wearable tech in terms of ‘Playability’, the subject given. Along with hat, I also want to do something with reflector which are another necessity here in winter.

keywords: EEG technology, weather sensor, soft(knitted) sensor, fairisle pattern, knitting pattern generator, Peltier tiles, led

Animatronic cat ears

Pompom tilt sensor

Thermo electric flashlight with Peltier tiles




Excuse the working title for this project…

[description coming soon]


Trash Robot 

Karoline Kwon

The experience of waiting

the experience of waiting a prototype focus:plan



My idea comes from my experiences with the weather and the means of transportation here in Helsinki.

When depending on public transportation waiting is a big part of it. The waiting can feel boring, cold and time goes extra slow when you are by yourself.

bus stop


With my idea I See a potential to make the waiting more fun and bearable. It’s cold and often dark. So the prototype should confront that issue and try to create a more lively and cosy space where waiting is not a problem.

Different sensor could activate some kind of mood light that lights up where the passengers are. Maybe make them connect.

ex. these fake simple shadows appears when people stand in the waiting area, and they try to connect with other peoples shadows, so people are forced to recognize the other people waiting. Maybe even smile to each other or open up.

Here is a bad sketch of what I mean with connecting through some interactive projections or lights:



Here is a pdf of my idea:

the experience of waiting a prototype

Some inspiration from Germany:


Musical Paper

we waste many papers in our daily life, such as newspaper, unnecessary ad paper, mistake in writing, business documents.

when we used these paper for purpose, such as getting information, writing something, they suddenly become unnecessary. but I think there is some possibility to use in other purpose.

instead of using record, this player uses newspaper which we already finished reading unnecessary ad paper in short, out of use paper.

putting in specific field, then the sensor starts recognizing and analyzing that paper, and from that analysis, make some music.

the song will change by color, size, density of text or picture. so it means we suddenly get many records and songs by using unnecessary paper.

I think this is one of the ways to translate unnecessary to playful.





Play while you are on a ride (public transportation)

Mostly I spent 2 hours of my day in a public transportation especially in a Bus traveling from Vikkii to Otaniemi.
I can’t read nor focus on a screen for too long since I will get nausea.
On the other hand sitting for almost an hour on each side of the ride and not doing anything is annoying.

So, I thought how can I make use of this time?
I want my trips to be more exciting.
Thus, stop buttons are mostly everywhere in the bus.
What if the buttons are used for a group game instead!

Who ever is interested is welcome to play, but don’t forget your stop!

There is a screen in front for everyone who plays.
– Mapping your roots (Visualization)
– Learning your directions (Street names & Neighborhoods)
– Collecting objects in order to gain points.

In the end of your journey you have a visualization map and you have gain credits by cleaning the path.
But Yes we should use the credits for something useful!

Digital Umbrella & Body Language

2 ideas:

Digital Umbrella:

Umbrella making a booting sound just like most of our other digital devices, also playing it distorted if it is broken at some parts.


Body Language:

Drawing while walking indoors on a digital canvas.That way you can for example “visualize” the unconscious walking when having stressful conversations on the phone.


Toothbrush Fairy

Toothbrush Fairies need to be happy and you can make them happy by brushing your teeth properly. 🙂 Especially good for kids to learn how to brush properly and for parents to track their kids brushing activities.

Toothbrush Fairy


A bonus idea I just came up with… 😛

Mirror mirror on the bathroom wall…

Makes people wash hands longer, in resulting better hand wash result.

  1. Detects when standing in front of a mirror and sink.
  2. A text appears on to mirror, “Take some soap and I’ll ask you a question…”
  3. After taking soap, the a question appears on the mirror with a 15 second progress bar.
  4. After progress bar is completed, the answer is shown in the mirror.

Instead of quiz question, there could also be jokes, etc.



TP meter – Issey

TP meter

track how long toilet paper used and show as digital numbers.


wouldn’t it nice if people stop using too many TP and save trees in Finlnad? 🙂

there are some funny TP stand already…
12 Funniest Toilet Paper Holders
World’s Greatest Invention: iPad Toilet Paper Stand

Pulsar Kites

Pulsar kite video

It is fun to play with kites in Helsinki since there is a good wind current during most part of the year. For this course it was considered to add a value for kites with electronic features, in other words, to produce a sonification of kite movement. Thus the kite works as an interface to generate data to produce sound on real time, an instrument for musical or sound art performance which is controlled manually and modified randomly by wind conditions.

The interface has a wireless system that measure the speed and rotation of the kite, thus this data is transformed into sound on real time. Sound modules are designed upon on the principles of composition with pulsars, developed by Curtis Roads, and the micro sound studies of Alberto de Campo. For future development is considered to include a dynamic led light system and increase the number of simultaneous kites. Here is some pictures of the process of creation of the kite, and electronic devices used for the project.


You can view more test videos and documentation of Pulsar kites here:

Finally this project was presented in Voda Helsinki a visual arts, literature and music event  in Kalasataman Aukio, on sunday 19th august 2012.

Assignment 3

Two simple interactions using a potentiometer and  a pressure sensor. The sound on the video is not good, but hopefully you get the point.

The third video is the first prototype of flexinol and knit. Made with pd, arduino and much help from Matti Niinimäki.

Textiles Installation

Here’s my playful design; making used and worn-out textiles recycled in a fun, but also critical design.
(Can for some reason not figure out how to upload picture, so please use the link)



Hands-free gloves

I got this idea from my touch-screen gloves. They allow you to type on a capacitive touch screen with your gloves on, thanks to the conductive material on the fingertips.

How to expand on the topic of gloves and mobiles?

I thought of combining them with this:


To make Hands-free gloves!

The microphone would be embedded to the tip of the pinky finger, and the loudspeaker/earplug to the thumb. Then you can speak like this:

The fingers can be used for picking up and hanging up the call by touching them together.


The work done by the Sound Gloves -group during last autumns Wearable Electronics course can be used for background research.

Fluid dress

Pingispöytä a.k.a. PingPongTable

This is a project update for last years Designing interactions course, this could also be seen as the final report for the project for the course, even if the project in itself is still a work in progress. This project is called “Pingispöytä” and it is made by Pasi Rauhala and Niklas Kullström from the Photography department.

So What is “Pingispöytä”? The concept started from the idea of making a electronically controlled “mechanical” ball bouncer. Several different approaches arose in the beginning, with different alternatives for propulsion and ball types. In the end we decided to use solenoids and ping pong balls for the project. The idea being that a solenoid would bounce up a ping pong ball into the air at a specific defined time.

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physical computing _test01

physical computing _test01
This is primary test shot.
It works are have a many potential to progress.
I trying to find that How it can be contain a meaningful.

Demo Day: Swing Thing

Swing Thing visual progress

Matti and Forrest have been working on the visual feedback element of their swing project:

Historical Orchestra (Oud Production)

Fretboard is based on linear potentiometer. You can get exact position of where you press. Works amazingly robust. Strings are laser-phototransistor couple. As for sound output, now we are using soundfont and sensor data is randomly mapped to soundfont notes. Thus, mapping is again not clear 🙂 Photos and video available.

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Historical Orchestra (Drum Production)

Drum has a circular body and a drum skin. Two piezo’s are attached to the drum skin. Those two piezo’s are linked to two drum notes. The tangible interface is there. Technology there. But mapping is not so exciting yet. Two notes doesnt sound nice. Needs some work.


Demo Video

Historical Orchestra (Ney Production)

Our Reed Flute (Ney) is on its way. Photo-resistors and a small mic are attached to a backbone which will then be inserted into a hollow tube.

Mic sends audio signal thru line-in of the computer and processed in PureData. The audio is filtered out only to take certain frequencies which correspond to blowing. So it hopefully will not sense when you talk 🙂 but when you blow. The amplitude of the blow is also processed and the more you blow the louder the sound. Working smoothly.

Photoresistors send analog data. Taken via Arduino send to PureData. Working great. Quite responsive.

Problem is now the mapping strategy. How can we map these processed inputs to the “song”. We were using soundfont but I guess we will map it directly to loops and control the loops with photoresistors. Mapping is still unclear.

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