Nove Bit is an interactive 3 x 3 matrix that allows users to record sequences of light and save them as 9 bit memories. Nove Bit addresses human to computer interaction by allowing the user to physically input the memory as 9 bits, as opposed to the traditional 8 bit computer memory. Nove Bit also touches on the notion of a personal memory by recording a users’ thoughts in time and replaying them as a pattern of lights. The visual memories are stored as 9 bits, represented by a corresponding button. Compared to 8 bits, 9 bits also allows for a visually even distribution of the memory as a square. The “Nove”, which means nine in Italian, also references the Arduino Duemilnove, one of the two micro-controllers that control the unit.
The programming mode is entered as soon as the user presses any button. The user can program light sequences by simply pressing buttons in the desired pattern. Patterns are recorded after several seconds of inactivity from the user. The patterns are replayed by fading the leds on and off inside the translucent white buttons. The buttons are placed in a wooden facade, while the square, white plexi-glass case forms the base and houses the Arduino and the TLC 5940 micro-controllers. The unit is powered by a wall adapter and can easily fit on a desk, nightstand or other flat surface with limited space.
I have updated the programming and buttons on this prototype. Thanks to our class feedback and The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda, I decided to make the programming of sequences easier and with less steps. Now someone can walk up and push a button to start programming a sequence, wait 2 seconds to input that sequence and wait another 4 seconds to save the entire sequence. The prototype saves the last two sequences, with a pause in between sequences.
I also worked on the buttons to make them easier to press. The metal washers were not working consistently, so I made yet another trip to the hardware store and found some black rubber washers. These are good because they provide support all around the bottom of the button and contract a little bit to give a “push” feel to the button. I also backed up the pcb board with some wood pieces to support the board so that it does not break.
Check it out in action. The quality is crap cuz I am using a little web cam that has auto focus, so thats why it is annoyingly zooming in and out.