My Notes

Brendan's notes
Notes T.O.C.

To Do:

  • Focus on Scents, and the Toll for now
  • Ask Bob about sunSPOT sound use, motion sensing, beam sensing, mesh networking, camera use and number
  • Find some kind device to spray the perfume for scents & sensibility
  • Fill in more for The Toll, Scents, Brodo, Spray
  • Add Budget information to pages
  • Add images to pages. The more real photo type stuff, the better

In Progress

  • Investigating Projectors
  • Find info/prices on directional speakers, or some other configuration that could work with the small underpasses


General Notes Table of Contents

  1. Storefronts
  2. Wakeup
  3. M.I.A.
  4. The Toll
  5. X-Ray
  6. Bubbletto
  7. Scents & Sensibility
  8. Scratchitti
  9. Brodo di Pesce
  10. Spray it Forward
  11. URG
  12. General Notes

  • ~ project a still image, then occasionally have something move
  • ~ project images of passersby


  • ~ use pictures of damage for projections
  • ~ project cost for repairs
  • ~ wave tank for indoor implementation
  • Sunspots will be floating in the canal, accelerometer data will trigger the projections
  • projection may be visible only when the water is calm, or only when there is wake
    • either way, projection will go straight to canal wall
    • distortion will be applied to the image beforehand, and chosen based on the wake conditions in the canal
    • Sunspots only for control - need to pre-gen displays, then select from a DVD or Flash Drive
    • MacMini for display and sunspots for trigger - the MacMini can handle realtime image manipulation, can perform more specific and varied effects for the display based directly on the floating sunspot info




The Toll
  • What to play
    • ~Obituaries read by computer
    • ~ Obituaries and then going off on tangents from there
    • ~ Bell sounds
      • for each death
      • for each birth
  • Get obituaries online
  • ~ have camera read obituaries off of wall, then computer read
  • For indoor
    • ~ hang papers with the obituaries, and have a voice reading them off one by one
    • ~ hang blank papers and then project the obituaries onto them. needs some careful image creation, but a template is possible. also results in distortion and difficulty in reading the projected obituaries if paper hung by one string. possibly use two strings, so that the paper can move but stays mostly facing the projector
      • ~ either way, could possibly have the projection change to focus on or draw attention to the obituary that is currently being read

Prototype Plan

  • will use the "flat panel" speakers from RiteAid
  • sunSPOT will generate the sounds
    • Dead Toll (bell?)
    • Birth sound (chirp?)
  • numbers will come from online


  • idea is more about wear and tear on the bridges, more than just interesting to see what is in the bridge
  • Possible Triggers
    • weight
    • counting people
      • motion sensors
      • video with blob recognition
      • only count tourists, need better video processing
    • For indoor implementation, have sensors nearby outside, and have that trigger events inside
  • ~ include sounds in the output display. Maybe some creaking or cracking.


  • Trigger Mechanism
    • ~ timer
    • ~ button
    • Sensor - Sunspot floating in canal. Above certain threshold, will tell another sunspot to activate the bubble machine
  • ~ indoor - bubbles on timer, project time lapse of Vaps thru the bubbles
  • this is one of the most subtle installations, as it has no obvious or direct relationship to the turbulence caused by the Vaps at the dock


Scents & Sensibility
  • sensors to detect when people illegally drop trash bags
  • strong perfume triggered
  • For Indoor
    • ~ have a trash bag or something that would descend and ascend on a timed mechanism
    • ~ project something onto the bag
    • ~ spray the perfume when the bag reaches the bottom

Fabio says (I think):

  • IR for the trigger
  • something about the WII
  • cheap webcam - trigger?
  • Redfish rigged a $10 webcam into an IR sensor
  • look into Mesh Networking with sunSPOTs - not sure why


  • ~ sound bombs
  • ~ distribute sound bombs to civilians in Venice
    • ~ with fixed message
    • ~ allow for custom messages
    • ~ Give out as part of the URG, either as a prize or as a clue
      • work into URG somehow

Look at redfish stuff: Santa Fe Complex and Redfish

Brodo Di Pesce

don't worry about this

Spray It Forward
  • Graffiti
    • ~ take image of something, and allow electronic graffiti
    • ~ allow others to undo the existing electronic graffiti
    • ~ project image onto a large sheet of paper (probably back project), and allow real graffiti on the paper, then see what it looks like when the projection is turned off
  • "Negative" Graffiti
    • ~ take image of something with graffiti, and allow electronic removal of the graffiti to reveal the image as it looked originally. This would require some image editing and pictures of the image without graffiti
    • ~ take image of something with graffiti, and allow electronic replacement of the graffiti. provide some kind of electronic artist tools to allow people to replace the graffiti portions, or all of the image, with their own work
    • Will most likely need a projector

This project will have a MacMini eventually

  • Urban Reality Game
  • ~ work this into most or all of the installations
  • ~ by working through the URG, one would learn about the issues that the installations are addressing
  • Mechanisms
    • Semacodes - 3D bar code. Take a picture, then compatible reader can decode and link to a web site
      • could be placed near, on or as part of the installation
      • could be nested in the projections
    • flash drives
      • leave on or around installation
      • distribute at other related artistic or conservation type events
  • Need some way to start it, and subtle boost methods if it is not working well

I will need to work on this. Start with research on the basics.

General Notes
  • work interactivity in wherever possible, while remaining meaningful
  • Possible Interaction Mechanisms
    • motion sensors to trigger something
    • video cameras to feed current or recorded activity
    • active user selection of options
    • people using provided devices to do things with the installation
    • using Wii remotes for things like an interactive whiteboard or for head tracking to further involve the user
      • there are many old phone booth type things that could be used for small exhibits
  • need to tie all the installations together somehow, especially if all set up in an indoor space
    • arrange to be like a portion of the city
    • the purpose of all the installations is to raise awareness about the harsh realities of the city that exist under the common idealized or romantic impression of the city
  • Placement and Themes
    • should be related to the issues
    • focused
    • vague with the illustration of the issue (so people have to think about it?)
  • For Projections
    • ~ project during the day
      • needs brighter projector
      • projection can only be seen well in someone's shadow
    • ~ project in evening / night
      • more visible
      • less powerful projector needed
    • use selection of pre-generated images to allow for use of simpler devices for control, instead of a computer
  • For Report
    • Main Concept: collect issues and art to make people aware
    • Find existing technical IQP reports for a sort of guideline
    • Sections
      • Background Literature
        • interactive media
        • interactive art
      • Issues
        • ~ in venice
        • ~ based on previous IQPs
      • Technology
    • Possibly do some kind of video or demonstration instead of a powerpoint for presentation
  • Process
    • plan on indoors for now, hopefully can get stuff outside
    • can start by using computers for proof of concept, then go smaller and cheaper devices
  • Before June 15
    • prepare as many projects as possible
    • coordinate with Bob and Fabio to implement and test them
  • In A Term '08
    • review what happened in Venice
    • use results to help wrap up
      • display some working installations on campus
      • briefing the PQP students (Venice IQP)
    • ~ making modifications to the installations that were tested in Venice
    • ~ finish off and test on campus some installations that weren't ready for Venice in the summer

Please be aware of Marty Quinn as a great resource for anything having to do with sound (like the “Dead Toll” postmortem).

Look at his site at: and poke around. He’s doing a lot of cool stuff. Get his advice on speakers, etc… he knows a lot.


bubble machine DMX 512 connection
find if Max can read/write from socket (TCP?)
wake - just have the sunspots for triggers to do its thing
visible when water calm, or when wake
when not readable, turn off projector(?)

use a floating sunspot to trigger the bubble machine
choose a bubble machine to buy
floating sunspot tell a second sunspot that is connected to the
bubble machine

for all projections, when to project?
project when bright, so only visible when in someone's shadow

look more in detail at projectors
look for projectors that naturally work outside

Might have to worry about the URG
- 3d barcodes, can take a photo of one that will then link to a
Leave flash drives
If URG doesnt catch on, may need to seed

the Toll and Scents & Sensibility are stubs for now

maybe add details about SunSpot to the systems page

June 15 - Bob leaves for Venice to test stuff
need to have things for him to test

then A term - review what happened
use results to help wrap things up
wrap up would include some working projects that could be displayed
on campus. viewed by the Venice IQP students doing their PQP

instead of powerpoint presentation
kind of show: video, demonstration, something

Might set up displays in the Wedge

wake - image
- just add effect to the image
- maybe use images of text to cycle based on water activity
look for projector with DMX, USB, or some useful input from Sunspot
possibly have a dvd or flash drive and send one of certain stock
- pre-gen what would be the processed images, and store in
quitcktime video or sets of pictures, to cycle / stream
- then question is how to connect Sunspot to projector
or edit images in real time

ask Bob, how much memory / storage available or possible
also what kind of output can the sunspot do to get to projector

(video machine for $400 has dvd player ?)

buy the gazillion bubbles
email Bob to check on the SunSpot output power

look for spray things for perfume stuff for scents and scensibility
search in relation to bathrooms

check out directional speakers too
- in Venice there are lots of small corridors and stuff to be like a
room or hall

paint the bubble machine?
security method?
Wooden box

remote to projector - reliability issue? consistant receive expected keys

physical setup can work
Bob has flash to edit the video and stuff quickly

Bob will try getting a spray can of the scent and rigging a servo to operate it

Idea - leaving sound grafitti. leave sound tag
maybe Radioshack alarm things with magnets to stick to things

indoor only

for sunspots, maybe use little voice recorders

Possible project: Something about counting number of people
?rotating transparencies - venice people and tourists, adjust opacity and blend based on how many tourists to citizens ratio
?using camera and video process to count people in the street
?using motion type sensors

try to think of more installations
Aging population
High cost of living
Presence of tourists - get in the locals' way

Work on URG (read link on URG page) - nine inch nails did one
read thru Fabio's blog
Look at Fab20 Fab1-4 (in blog) about making shirts and other stuff. maybe use for URG
use combination of web pages, these shirts and stuff, other things
Think about end of URG - maybe have detailed descriptions of the installations with credits

IQP paper
talk about the issues of Venice and how art has been used to illustrate issues etc…
how others have used art or installation art in a social manner (protests, issues etc)
background - see above here
methodology - objectives - 1. develop installations 2. deploy 3. URG - "how"
results & analysis - results include pictures from Bob in Venice - does it work, do people get it? - URG kinda measures this
maybe count the people at each installation
reccomend that other IQP groups servey impact
have bob keep records
Have lots of pictures
have people sign in at the installations
could ask people directly at each installation at time of.
use the feedback to tweak the installations
brief another IQP team to carry on with the Installations

Things to test in Venice
All projectors
The toll
Scents - probably

Over the summer:
look at previous IQP reports (some on Fabio's web page)
come into term A with a final report - take the rest of the term to smooth out the report to make it acceptable

Meeting 9/9/08
— not much happened in Venice or otherwise over the summer
~ Bianchi talking about cell phones and all the things they can do
~ wants to use some of it
~ wants to have a unified project around the cell phone thing
~ Fabio does not seem to be quite on the same page
~ Fabio talked about something a spanish guy did - control lots of search lights with cell phones
~ F: says most things using cell phones are done by sms. send something in the subject or body that gets parsed to commands
~ F: wonders what is available on the WPI? server that can do these things
-> wants to explore how the sms control and interface on the computer end works
~ B: wants to do something about cell phones and monitoring?
> WikiRome - something about showing people's movements on a map, tracked by cell phones
"Think of report as kind of a blueprint for what is possible, and a platform for the basis of the projects"
— ** new york times article about tech glasses w/ display?
— change scope completely to a bunch of proof of concept type things, blueprint/layout for others to actually implement
— try to think of some unifications for these projects
~ F: thinks that cell phones are the key access thing
~ some king of "outside gadgetry" for monitoring and stuff - as a platform
~ B: what is already out there that we can tap into, or new things that are inexpensive enough to use
> look up Arduino - uprocessor thing
** Talk to Simon: "this kind of crazy genius guy" - the hardware guy at the santa fe complex

— ** deliverables: report, presentation **
— ** Requirements for Completion: complete requirements (~need defined) **
— ** read past IQPs for blueprints for my report **
— ** create an Intro for report to define scope —> proposal / objective / scope —> what I think to make of the project, what I plan to do **
— ** see links F sending **

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