Related works

Close encounters of the third kind / Steve Spielberg, 1977
Use light and sound when there is no other common language!

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APPLE / DUNCAN KERR

Macbook breathing sleep mode light

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Macbook battery magnetic plug / green=full, orange=charging

battery full apple

battery low apple

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Macbook battery level sign / press the button on the backside of the laptop to see the battery level

battery level apple

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.Apple patent describes illuminated touchpads, click-wheels, 2007

In a patent filing published earlier this month, Apple discusses the concept of illuminated touchpads that could improve the overall user experience of certain electronics devices by providing handlers with constant visual feedback.

“Although touch pads work well, improvements to their form feel and functionality are desired. By way of example, it may be desirable to provide visual stimuli at the touch pad so that a user can better operate the touch pad,” the Cupertino-based electronics maker wrote in the 34-page filing with the United States Patent and Trademark office.
For example, Apple said visual stimuli may be used (among other things) to alert a user when the touch pad is registering a touch, indicate where the touch is occurring on the touch pad, provide feedback related to a touch event, indicate the state of the touch pad, and so forth.
Backlit touchpads would not only alert the user to the location of the touchpad is in low light conditions, but also to give other feedback related to how the touch pad is being used. As an example, Apple said such touchpads could possibly change intensity or color based on motion characteristics or pressure, providing an illumination point that follows a finger as it is moved about the touch sensitive surface, showing different states with varying levels of brightness or color.
Alternatively, the company continued, visual effects could be used during and after the input event to dynamically indicate characteristics associated with the input events. These characteristics could include ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘the number of inputs’ being made relative to the input surface.
“This type of feedback also improves inputting by providing visual cues to the user about the input device” as it is being used, Apple wrote. “Alternatively or additionally, the visual effects may be used before an input event to invoke the user to perform a particular input event at the input surface. This type of feedback also improves inputting by helping the user make appropriate inputs or helping them learn input gestures (e.g., timing, location and movements).”

Apple's illuminated TrackPad patent

In most cases, Apple said the visual effects (outputs) are linked or tied the input events being performed, and in those cases the visual feedback system should not be considered a separate display. Still, the technology could vary widely.
In one embodiment of Apple’s invention, the visual feedback system is described as a light based system that illuminates the input surface through light emitting devices that may include one or more light sources and a light distribution system for distributing the light at the input surface.
However, the company explained that in some cases, the light from the light sources may be diffused so that the input surface emits a characteristic glow (not a precise point of light, but rather a blurred glowing effect or phosphorous glow):

Apple's illuminated TrackPad patent

“That is, the input surface can generate glowing special effects that may for example provide backlighting to the input surface and/or provide an outline, trace or shadow of the sensed object on the input surface,” the filing states. “The glowing special effects may even indicate a state of the input device as for example when the input device is in a tracking state or gesture state.”
In one application of the invention, however, Apple indeed describes illuminated touchpads that sport display characteristics. “The visual feedback system may be a graphically based system that generates graphics at the input surface,” the company wrote. “LCDs, OLEDs and electronic inks are examples of graphically based systems. These devices however can be cost prohibitive and more complex to implement when compared to light based systems.”

Apple's illuminated TrackPad patent

The patent also refers to an implementation where the illuminated portion of an iPod click-where follows the motion of the finger as it is moved across the surface. “The leading edge, body and trailing edge may have different illumination profiles. For example, the leading edge may have a high intensity level, the body may have a medium intensity level and the trailing edge may have a low intensity level.”
The March 31, 2006 filing, which is credited to Apple employees Stanley Ng and Duncan Kerr, goes to discuss possibilities for illuminated touchpads that could be “used as a timer or clock” or that feature multiple areas that could be illuminated with different illumination profiles at the same time.

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Apple patent hints at computers that can change their appearance, 2009
[…] The invention relates to improved features for changing the appearance of a computing device. The computing device in question includes a housing having an illuminable portion. It also includes a light emitting device disposed inside the housing. The light emitting device is configured to produce a light effect that alters the ornamental appearance of the computing device.Here’s Apple’s description and summary of the invention: “Most computing devices, including portable computers and desktop computers, give feedback to its user via a display screen or speakers. As is generally well known, display screens are used to display textual or graphical information to a user and speakers are used to output sound to the user. For example, display screens may be used to display a graphical user interface (GUI) and speakers may be used to output music or audio messages.

Computing devices also give feedback to users via small indicators positioned on the computing device. By way of example, some indicators use light to indicate that a computing device (or the display screen of the computing device) is turned on/off or that a disk drive is reading or writing data to a disk. Although displays, speakers and indicators work well, they are limited to the type of feedback they give a user. For example, while playing a movie with a DVD drive of a computing device, the display screen only outputs the video associated with the movie, the speaker only outputs the audio associated with the movie, and the indicator only indicates that a movie is playing the DVD drive. Thus, it would be desirable to provide additional feedback to a user.”

The inventor is Duncan Kerr. The graphic below a simplified diagram of an electronic device, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

image

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Networked lighting objects

Networked color cycle based on tilt/orientation

lumi1

Imagining a time when everyday objects will be able to communicate and respond to eachother we created this set of networked lighting objects. Each cube has a personality and responds to touch and to its neighbors. We are now pursuing the implications of networked lighting in public spaces.

lumi2

a collaborative effort by James Tichenor, Joshua Walton, Vincent Boyce, Sung Kim, Tristan Shaw, Craig Kanarick, Rockwell Group

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REACTABLE

The reactable is a collaborative electronic music instrument with a tabletop tangible multi-touch interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving and rotating physical objects on a luminous round table surface. By moving and relating these objects, representing components of a classic modular synthesizer, users can create complex and dynamic sonic topologies, with generators, filters and modulators, in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.

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Patina Pairs/ Matt Cottam

The Pairs swatches consist of 6 Ash dovetail joints with embedded electronics. Each of the six sets of Pin and Tail is identical (except in grain) in form and function–they differ only in the surface patina. Each Pair is treated in a unique way that gives it age and experience: one was put in the ocean for a month; one was divided between my wife and I–she wrote all over hers when she was missing me and I stained mine with tea and wine when I was away from her; one was chewed by our dog Bruno; one was distressed in a sandblaster; one was stained with iron and vinegar; and one was left perfect. The electronics allow the Pin and Tail of each dovetail to communicate wirelessly and by rechargable battery power. The halves chirp in patterns of call and response to each other when they are apart, they vibrate and chirp faster when they are near one another, and they are silent when connected.

matt cottam3

matt cottam

matt cottam2

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VEROHNERO / OREN HOREV

watch the video!

InSync_gen

InSync_gen2

InSync_sequence2

IN SYNC is an external hard drive that changes shape, it is an object that uses a “body language” to interact, building on the way we interpret gestures & read affordances from the environment. InSync communicates with a user through shape change, by adopting an informative posture to indicate the validity of a backup. It adds on the Morphing cube earlier concept – conveying how much a backup is synchronized through misalignment of the drive’s shape – by setting a bilateral interaction, that dispenses shape-change as feedback & receives shape-change as input.

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SANDISK CRUZER MINI
USB stick with different light behaviours according to different actions/states

USB

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