The general idea of this project was to combine a sub-GHz radio-connected MCU with a low-resolution thermographic camera (AMG8851) for distributed sensing and explore application scenarios.
At the core of the project is the AMG8851 thermophile sensor. It is an 8x8 pixel infrared array sensor with an I2C interface and a typical framerate of 10 fps. The sensor was combined with an Atmel328P microcontroller and a CC1101 transceiver to create a modular setup.
To test different application scenarios, we developed a prototype in Processing. It was used to read and visualize the sensor input and to forward the data via OSC to tools like the Gesture Recognition Toolkit (GRT).
You can find a version of the application we used in the final installation on github.
We found several hand gestures that were consistently tracked- and classifiable with the GRT. The static display of one, two, or three fingers and an ok gesture were distinguishable enough in an indoor scenario.
To understand the limits of the setup, we also tested different poses and distances in an outdoor scenario. The best results were captured within 1.5 meters of the sensor.
We also recognized the potential of ambient heat emissions during the exploration, which opened up new ideas for interaction designs, e.g., positional tracking with the ceiling lights.
Our final prototype resembles a sport-on-the-go installation to motivate people to engage in sportive activity during idle situations. The installation was tested at a bus stop, a plaza, a walkway, a corner scenario, and a traffic light. Interestingly people did engage with the exercise in public spaces, even though the norms of public spaces inhibit this behavior.
- Patrick Tobias Fischer (Supervisor)
- Andreas Berst (Contributor: Hardware, Software, Documentation)
- Kevin Schminnes (Contributor: Hardware, Software, Evaluation)