Invisible Postcard Messages
I liked this project because it had an interactive interface with a simple, nondigital design. The postcards are coated with a phosphorous layer that allow you to write a hidden message. When it is exposed to light given off by your computer screen, the message is briefly revealed under dark lighting. Since the activation is controlled by you, you can send the card to anyone, anywhere and they can expose it when they want to. It’s more user interactive and dependent than other “secret” messages that are temporary, or very light sensitive and can’t be easily mailed/exchanged.
These are blocks of light that can be used to create sculptures. They have magnetic sides and transfer electrical current to each other in series so only one has to be plugged to a powerdeck. They light in different colors, have a beautiful shape and fit well in your hand to encourage stacking and building. They are sturdy enough to maintain a shape and can easily be molded and replace a common desk lamp. I think these are very successful in aesthetics and function. If I had one suggestion it would be to give it a wireless battery option, and that would allow it to be a truly free form sculpture.
FIberglass Musical Light Instrument
This artist (did not get his name!) created this beautiful instrument with fiberglass, heat sensing touchpads, and programming to sound and also vector art. This instrument can be programmed to control not just music, but whatever else you ask it to, such as channels flipping, lights, etc. The crystal sculpture he created invites you to touch it and you get an immediate response back in the form of sound and light.
What Inspired Me?
This little boy approached me in a crowd of people and asked if I wanted to try an automatic hand sanitizer he built out of Legos and a heat sensor. He said he built it because there’s already a simple pump in the bottle and it’s easy to make something else pump it for us. This inspires me because it shows anyone of all age and background can try to make things better, more convenient, or simply because it’s fun to make. Similarly, the man shown above created “secret tv watching” by removing the polarized glass that covers monitors. By putting the polarized lens on on glasses, you created an individual watching experience. When asked why he did this, he answered “I’m just a dad, just trying to teach kids about polarization.” This is inspiring because making/inventing doesn’t have to be all about making products, gaining notoriety, or getting funding. It can just be about teaching others about something you think is cool.
My take-away from this experience is to work with a subject matter that you’re interested in because you’re truly interested, not because it utilizes the most cutting edge tech fad. There were a lot of projects I saw that were interactive in whimsical ways (secret tv…think of what you could broadcast in public) and people trying to re-use material in an ecologically thoughtful way. One person was reusing thrown own pieces of wood and the Dodecado people made their packaging material function as a pen holder or drink holder after it’s opened. This reminds me to try to be environmentally responsible and reusable in my work because this is something I find important.