Interactive displays (IrDA)

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by David_AVD, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,345
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    We talked about interactive displays a while back and mulled a few ideas over. A thread on another forum got some of us thinking more about it. AussiePhil suggested using IrDA transceivers for two way communication between fixed display elements (megatree, etc) and roaming units (worn by people). The wearable display items could be hats, shirts, etc.

    So, here's a few scenarios to start with:

    1) Roaming units detect fixed units and play content (light up) using data that the fixed unit continuously sends out. This option is much like the thread on DIYC and uses unidirectional data (to the roaming unit). Each fixed unit could be sending different data so the roaming unit would synchronise to that part of the display.

    2) Fixed units detect roaming units (with no display) and change the associated display element in their presence. Maybe something different happens when different roaming units encounter the same fixed unit.

    3) Fixed units ID roaming units and something different happens for each combination of fixed and roaming pairs.

    4) Roaming units detect one another and do some sort of interactive display.

    Option 1 is the simplest as there's no restriction on multiple roaming units being in range of a particular fixed unit.

    Separation of the fixed units would minimise errant operation due to multiple data sources.

    Anyway, this post is just to confirm what Phil and I discussed in chat and serve as a discussion start.

    EDIT: Link to wikipedia page on IrDA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_Data_Association
     
  2. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Dedicated Elf Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Find Me On:
    Largely i believe 1. and 4. are the scenarios covered by the threads at DIYC and the IrDA ears project.


    I think taking a complete step forward to full two way communication opens up significant opportunities to develop interactive displays.


    One thing that just came to mind.


    5. Fixed units operating as repeaters.


    Example usage would be a line of say Globes that depending on which IrDA receiver picked up the mobile unit could actually light up in the direction of travel of that mobile unit.


    I think that using FIR mode we can do some really interesting stuff at full DMX data rates.


    Phil
     
  3. bbayjohn

    bbayjohn Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Batemans Bay
    Find Me On:
    That would be so cool.
    A bit like one of these but with more interaction?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,345
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    The IrDA transceivers I saw on Digikey and Mouser only seem to have a 1 - 1.5m range. Too short to be really useful I think.
     
  5. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Cranbourne West
    Find Me On:
    I'm not sure I fully understand IrDA, but is there any way you could get visitors to interact with your displays like this Giant Theremin in Melbourne? Obviously, instead of playing sounds, it could control lights on/off or sequences?
    Wishful thinking perhaps?!
    Giant Theremin, Melbourne - a brief introduction
     
  6. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,345
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    The IrDA part of the idea itself doesn't really provide for any variable input (in a specific area) as such. It's just a data link using infra-red light. So it either gets good data transfer or not.

    The Giant Theremin linked to uses the relative presence of visitors as a variable input instead of say, just making a sound when the person steps into the right place.

    You could you have different parts of the display (say every metre) do something as the person walked by the different IrDA transceivers (located at each spot).
     
  7. kel

    kel Dedicated Elf

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tenterfield, NSW/Qld border
    The Giant Theremin seems to be activated by something similar to the Kinect as its pickup. Processing + Synapse (or similar) + Kinect can produce this effect. We have this aspect working here ... only sound though.

    However, I think that LightJams enables both sound and lights to work together ... at this point in time, we have not trialled both as they are on different computers ???

    The IrDA seems to be more like a sensor light effect, as in if you pass the sensor the light/s turn on ... I think ...

    Just think of some light effects that people could have fun with ... e.g., people running past causing a chase effect :D

    Keep up the good work, David :)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,345
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    Simply put, IrDA is a method of transferring data to and from portable devices (PDAs, etc). Many of it's traditional uses are now done via BlueTooth. How you use that data is up to you.

    So, IrDA is not a proximity sensor in the normal sense. You could use it to establish temporary data links (as people wander about) but unless we can get better than 1 metre range, it might not be all that successful.

    If IrDA does prove to be limiting, maybe we should look at separate IR LEDs and receivers that do allow for a range in the several metres area.
     
  9. kel

    kel Dedicated Elf

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tenterfield, NSW/Qld border
    ok, ok, I should have read the wiki ... even though I knew what you were talking about, initially ...

    I think for me, I am a dreamer ... so I connected with the dream rather than the reality ... IrDA does have possibilities ... but at this stage, I do prefer the motion sensor stuff ...
     
  10. OP
    OP
    David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,345
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Victoria Point (Brisbane)
    I started this thread to get the ideas talked about in chat into a wider technical discussion. AussiePhil seemed keen on the idea at the time.

    Not sure who else with technical abilities wants to step up and have a go at this. Maybe one of the keen Arduino coders?
     

Share This Page