BACKGROUND NOISE BOX:
A personal domestic product that plugs into sockets throughout the home, recording the background noise of a space and the activity of a person within it. When partners are separate or have little time to spend personally with each another, the noisebox delivers familiar personally recorded soundscapes to ease brewing tensions.
CENTRE FOR DESIGN INNOVATION:
Located near Forres in northern Scotland the Centre for Design Innovation (formerly MIT's Distance Labs) is a creative research organisation now operating through The Glasgow School of Art bringing together digital media technology, design and the arts to redefine and overcome the disadvantages of distance in learning, healthcare, relationships, cultures and other domains. The centre assisted with the prototyping of a functional Background Noise Box for lonely partners.
NOISE BOX CONFIGURATION:
The working prototype uses a sounds module connected to a PIC controller with 4 Reed switches connected to the input pins. An Aluminium dial with a hidden magnet triggers the reed switches, which in turn trigger the playing of one of four soundscapes. A carefully designed clicking mechanism allows users to interact with the device, providing a level of intuition for them to feel the disk clicking into place as they tune into their prefered noise box station.
Having prefabricated and laser cut the shell of the product, the Centre for Design Innovation assisted with the construction of the interactive components. Connecting the reed switches, ensuring they are within the magnetic field of the selector dial, wiring these to the microchip, adding a remote on/off switch to avoid opening the entire device each time.
© 2011 BEN PAWLE