Whispering to birds
IDII 2002. Physical computing exploration.
Whispering to birds enables a poetic interactive communication between a human being and imaginary birds.
Our intention with the leaf as input element is to create a delicate input: soft strokes invoke the bird reaction as if we are enacting a mode of communication with our feathered friends.
Using a leaf as interactive artifact, the "whisperer" lightly brushes or taps the input box. These behaviors are indicated by several actions corresponding to the amount of vibration and velocity generated by the leaf. The microphone sensor then transmits a particular series of serial bytes to the outbox. The outbox analyzes the stimulii for a specific amount of time to set a behavior, and then reacts by choosing a combination of 1 to 7 birdsounds and a motor-controlled "flapping" of wings.
Input Box
The input box uses a condenser microphone as a vibrational input sensor, an LM386N-3 amplifier chip and a BasicX-24 microcontroller.

The input box concept began by thinking about alternative pressures and ways to transmit a signal poetically. How light and delicate can we make this input? What is conjured in our minds by soft sweeping of a leaf on a surface? What kind of surprising output could be associated with the soft input? We settled on birdsounds as output and decided that "whispering" relayed the softness concept we were trying to convey.
Output Box
The outbox uses a DC motor, the ISD2532 soundchip, 2 speakers powered by the LM386N-3 amplifier chip, and a BasicX-24 microcontroller. Almost half of the box was used for the DC motor that hits the walls of the box like a bird flapping its wings, an output that happens only when you tap the membrane with the leaf.

We wanted to have a response that matched the softness and behavior from the input box. We found the concept of the bird whispering ideal due to its strong relationship with the feather/leaf.

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