Week 17: Project applications and implications

This week we followed the applications and implications class (see video here)

This page is about the individual assignment and exploring some aspecs of my final project.

What will it do?

My final project is “Privacy Seed” a digital tree seeded by your heartbeat.

“Privacy Seed” is artistic installation to challenge the intersections of personal data and privacy, of natural and digital worlds.

A tree structure holds at its center an anatomical heart object with an heartbeat sensor. By holding this heart in their hands the participants start interacting with the tree lights and sounds. The participants’ heartbeat signal then will “seed” a secure digital random number generator that publishes its results to the web.

Who’s done what beforehand?

The tree structure comes from the Climate Ribbon’s tree project at COP21 in Paris:

IMG_2_tree_ribbons_tree_people Pictures from The Climate Ribbons project

The heartbeat sensor come in various previous examples

What will you design?

  • Tree structure
  • Anatomical heart object
  • Heart rate sensor with microcontroller
  • Tree & heart output lights and sound system
  • RNG, Web API & pages

What materials and components will be used? Where will come from? How much will they cost?

Tree structure

Cardboard (small structure)100x80cm, 3mm thickness ?
Wood (large structure)2.5x1,5m, 1.5cm thickness (8x) ?
Silk ribbons5m, green & various colours €12

Anatomical heart object

PLA for 3D printing ? 
Smooth-On XTC-3D finishing30g $1
Smooth-On Mold Star 30 rubber (mould)1kg $60
Smooth-On SORTA-Clear 37 rubber (cast)1kg $40

PCB with SMD components

MAX30101 heartrate sensor2DigiKey$8
AVR microcontroller for the heart sensor & lights1DigiKey$2
PCB and other SMD components DigiKey$5

Tree & heart outputs

DotStar led strip5m, 30 LED/mAdaFruit$100
10A 5V DC power supply1Amazon€20

RNG, Web API & pages

Raspberry PI zero1local supplier$10
AWS EC2 instance1amazon$5/month

What parts and systems will be made? What processes will be used?

  • Tree structure
    • Laser cutting (small)
    • CNC milling (large)
  • Anatomical heart object
    • 3D printing (1st test)
    • Moulding and casting (2nd test)
  • Electronics
    • PCB milling and soldering
    • Embedded programming
  • Application interface
    • Website build with Node.js

What questions need to be answered?

  • How to build a functioning heartrate sensor
  • What is best process to create the anatomic heart object
  • How to compose the lights on the tree
  • How to better control large numbers of LED lights
  • How to syntesize an heartbeat sound at different frequencies

How will it be evaluated?

As an ART project the main outcome comes from the qualitative experiences and responses from the visitors of the exhibition

  1. The interactions with the objects create an interactive experience for the visitors
  2. Quality of the finishing of the objects to create an immersive experience
  3. Exhibition gets hosted in more than 2 international art and technology conferences (eg. FABx, CCC, Internet Freedom Festival, etc.)
  4. The tree structure gets replicated by others in more locations