Project 2 (Big Red Button)

For my final project in OBJECT I decided to focus less on tangible feedback and more on how the lack of feedback effects users. To do this I used a big red button and some speakers, when powered on the button blinks at random intervals and when pressed the speakers play a sound from a hidden area (thanks to a 20’ 3.5mm cable). As one of my fellow classmates said this was more of an art project rather than a functional object for me because instead of some intentional function my simply focused on the human interaction with a machine. The big red button did this because anyone who pressed the button expected some sort of tangible, instant feedback and instead they received a distant sound that did not directly correlate to the button push. I learned this when I saw people repeatedly pressing the button in order to locate the source of the sound and whether they were actually causing it. When I turned the speaker off I had many reviewers believe that they were causing the button to light up even though it was set to be on a random timer. After turning the entire power source off, I still had people who believed that the button’s click was the only source of feedback they were supposed to get. Overall I think this project was a success for me because while I learned quite a lot about code and hardware that I did not know to begin with but the most rewarding part of the project was learning how inherent humans’ desire for tangible feedback really is. So much that they are willing to create a source of feedback even when there is nothing there.

Here is a video of the sound my button makes when there is power and the button is pressed. This was really the most difficult part of the project since sound is one of the most underrated senses and I really wanted to emphasize how a good sound can blend into its surroundings without effort. I ended up landing on this sound because I showed my project at the ATLAS Expo in the BTU Lab which is filled with all sorts of machines and tech projects.

Below is the code I used for my project.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 5.16.42 PM

Some photos of the construction of my circuit, my enclosure, and my sound.

Above are some photos of my final project (minus the 20′ 3.5mm cord used to hide the speakers). A video of my project in action can be found here.

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