Tangible Investigations


This project was an inquiry into the disconnection between our perception of time versus the scales of time existing. Our perception of time depends on our engagement level, mood, social proximity, and our location. Through this project, we are challenging the convention of time we feel. 

The prototype is a smart band connected to a table clock. The smart band relays heartbeat data in real-time to a table clock that runs in accord. If the heartbeat is in the normal range, the neopixel clock runs at its regular pace. However, an increase in heartbeat causes the clock to slow down proportionately. Slowing down of time makes the perception of time coherent resulting in a calming effect. 


Quakesense is a lo-fi concept prototype to create a tangible earthquake alert system that assures your loved ones who live far away about your safety during the occurrence of an earthquake. 

Quakesense is for making earthquake data more than just numbers. FOr people living in an earthquake-prone zone, the anxiety it causes for a loved one who lives far apart is unimaginable. When an earthquake is detected, the sender device sends signals to the receiver device to which different LEDs glow on the receiver device in response to the intensity. The “Receiver” is equipped with a “Are you safe?” button to which the “Sender” can reply using the “Marking as Safe” button. 


This project is in response to a fatal accident that happened recently in San Jose due to a train crossing. The prototype consists of two devices,  one device contained a proximity sensor that calculated if the train was crossing and relayed it over to the other device to trigger an alarm. These boards communicated over LoRa that connected them over an ideal distance without the requirement of an internet connection. 

Technologies Used

These prototypes were built using Arduino Uno, LoRa, Arduino Nano 33 IoT, PubNub (for API call), neopixel, and Servo Motor.