4th Generation Hardware under development

During the RHYME project so far we have developed a number of hardware platforms. This has been necessary because existing platforms (smartphone, Arduino e.g.)  do not directly offer the functionality and combinations we need, regarding diverse sensors and actuators such as light and speakers. It has been a huge challenge to create the hardware we wanted and needed to offer the best possibilities for our users. We have put a lot of time and effort into it, much more than we originally planned, because the current mobile technology still have major weaknesses . The main challenges we have been  working on are:
real time sound synthesis with low enough latency (response time) for musical interaction.
– sufficient sound quality in terms of loudness, frequency range,
and noise floor in mobile wireless objects.
– battery, both how it is charged, used and integrated as well as how long it lasts.
– combining input from microphone and other sensors in the same mobile object.
– wireless connection and speed related to real time dynamic sound interaction.
light and sensor integration in soft and sensorial stimulating materials.

Therefore we have used much more time than planned on developing different hardware platforms and testing them out in diverse use situations. Here are some of the decisions we have made during the project based on our research and explorations:
– Communication protocol for musical events OSC (Open Sound Control), not MIDI.
– Mobile computer platform iPod Touch (OSX),  or Android.
SuperCollider, not PureData or Max/MSP.
– Wireless communication  by Wifi not Bluetooth or Zigbee.
– 5 Volt usb connectors for all devices not multiple voltages and custom battery connectors.
– Processing as dynamic graphic generation not Jitter or other programs.
– Textile embedded surface mounted LEDs not LEDs with legs on the surface.
Ribbon cable not Conductive thread.
– Embedded projector into the interactive thing, not wall projection.
– Embedded speakers and Subwofer, not external ones.

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