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Blog: Physical Computing

ITPG-GT 2301-005

Tutor: Tom


Assignment III: 

Ideas, Preparation & Approaching

Starting Point

In the last project, my two teammates and I, Shin and Weiwei, had build a VR/real drum device which can be played through Oculus. For this time, we decided to continue our thoughts on playing with the device which is music related, and make something difference.

The first idea is a 'wearable DJ controller'. We wish to find a way to control music easily, and some body movements can also influence the sound we're creating. 


The first idea came to me as a 'full-body' sensing device. I imagined that several stretch sensors would be attached with the player's body, and the movements of the player, up and down, back and forth, will change the tone and pitch of the music. Kind of  a 'dancing DJ'.

However, we soon find that this might not be a doable idea, since it might cause some danger for the player, and even the most nature change of the body might cause a lot of random, unwanted shifts.


some more attempts toward that idea

Next, we thought of simplifying the way of control, but putting more focus on giving a more unique and cool user experience.

Since we are all quite interested in making installations, an installation-like interactive, music DJ controller might be a good attempt.


Final idea:

Standing in the middle of some LED pillars, there stands a DJ. Two DJ control panels are attached to the headphone, the panning of the panels will change the electrical effect of the music, as well as the gradient changing of the LED pillars.

Physical Model and Tests

We want the main material of the pillar to be half-transparent, with several LEDs in the bottom of the pillars. The device is expected to be played in a fairly dark place (imagine of a nightclub maybe?). With the glowing of the lights, the light will shine through the half-transparent material and gradually changes by the time.

For its base, we decided to use reflecting materials, so it can reflect the lights of the pillar and make more layers.

As following:


structure of pillars

Then we started shopping.


Tests with LED (with Adafruit NeoPixel), & rotary encoder. (for the panel on head)

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