LED Wind Chimes

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

Interactive LED wind chimes that respond to touch



Project Statement:

LED wind chimes that create an iterative interaction with the user, responding to their touch and movement of the object.


Application:

Taking from the concept of wind chimes in general, I wanted to translate that to a more visually focused application, using light in place of sound to create a visually meditative interaction.


User Interaction:

When the user touches the wind chime, each tube responds individually to the user's touch for a limited period of time. This limited response creates a cyclical process of interaction between the object and user. In order for the wind chimes to respond to the user's touch, they must interact with it repeatedly.


This cycle of interaction is what I wanted to explore with my wind chimes, focusing on the user and the prompts they are given to interact with the wind chimes.


Technology:

- 6 Tilt switch sensors

- Individually addressable LED strip

- Arduino



Design Question

How do we create an iterative interaction with the user that prompts a cyclic process of interactivity as a conversation between user and object?


Ideation & UX Design:

I needed to map out what I saw my user/object interaction looking like. Each time the acrylic tube was touched by the user, the LED's would respond to the user's touch for five seconds, going back to a normal smooth light transition after. This required the user to constantly touch and interact with each and all the tubes on the wind chimes constantly, creating a cyclical process of interaction.




Fabrication & Process:

The fabrication of the wind chimes was a long and tedious one. Originally, I had intended to hang the wind chimes, but found that to be difficult and opted to use a stand instead. I used acrylic tubes that diffused the light of the LED's in order to create a calm and soothing mood that would prompt the user to touch the tubes and interact with the wind chime.


Soldering tilt switch sensors and inserting them into acrylic tubes

Reflection & Takeaways:

The fabrication of my project was my biggest hurdle. Had I had more time, I would have further evolved my prototype to use materials that responded better to the user object interaction I was looking for. The stiffness of the wires that I soldered the tilt switch sensors with prevented the sensitivity I needed to react to the user's touch. This made my interaction between the wind chimes and the user a little stiff and less natural than I would have liked.


Overall, in the two weeks I had to rapidly prototype my concept from ideation, I learned a lot about what materials worked well for certain interactions and how to more successfully prompt a desired interaction between user and object.