Digital Fireflies revolves around the idea of a passive interaction between the physical realm and digital interaction. Building on the preferences of the home owners, we’ve set up a projection system that imitates fireflies but also reacts to the temperature of the immediate surrounding context. This display as a passive overlay on the residential landscape is bound to create a soothing experience and elevate the sense of the space and nature as well.

Created: September 24th, 2018

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Project Statement

Digital Fireflies revolves around the idea of a passive interaction between the physical realm and digital interaction. Considering that the owners are technologically oriented yet want a more peaceful intervention for their outdoor environment, we tailored our design to meld better with the variety of outdoor conditions available. Building on the preferences of the home owners, we’ve set up a projection system that imitates fireflies but also reacts to the temperature of the immediate surrounding context. This display as a passive overlay on the residential landscape is bound to create a soothing experience and elevate the sense of the space and nature as well.

The digital fireflies change its color from a cool hue to a warmer tone and vice-versa according to the temperature outside, acting as a cue for the owners to step outside when the weather is pleasant. This also can interact more actively especially if they have company over which can start influencing the outdoor temperature as well. For this design intervention to both be more visible and to be enjoyed by people (assuming the Griffins have work during the day), this projection is intended and best suited for night time, as that is also when fireflies are visible. It will be overlayed on the wall and the bushes as the colors tend to contrast from those elements enough to seem pleasant.

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Iterations

Using an analog temperature sensor, we extracted the analog value from the StandardFirmata and based the RGB values for the display based on it. Multipliers were applied to the values to obtain a variation in the colors. The color was applied to a particle system that we generated for increased control over the output instead of the given constant from generating an updating color as using the constant as an input for the projection texture on the ParticlesGPU resulted in square shapes that looked too defined and rigid to represent fireflies. The particle system we generated is based on a torus geometry because of the centrality of the shape and how it would result in the “fireflies” hovering around a point. We experimented with a lot of variations in the number of particles from the low 50-80s to highs as much as 12000s but limited the number of particles to 250-280. This resulted in a display sporadic enough to mimic fireflies in real life.

Sources

Tutorial Source for Particle System Generation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKGhdCbLIEU

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Digital Fireflies
Erin Fuller - https://vimeo.com/291544483
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Digital Fireflies revolves around the idea of a passive interaction between the physical realm and digital interaction. Building on the preferences of the home owners, we’ve set up a projection system that imitates fireflies but also reacts to the temperature of the immediate surrounding context. This display as a passive overlay on the residential landscape is bound to create a soothing experience and elevate the sense of the space and nature as well.