The Human Antenna Charge Detector

The Human Antenna Charge Detector originally started as an electronic dice. Using a 4017 IC (a 16-pin counter), 6 LEDs were attached, and one would light up, representing a number one through six, depending on the length of contact with the exposed wire.

Originally assembled on a breadboard, the electronic dice was working very inconsistently. For certain people, the dice would work correctly – the LEDs would all flash and land on one LED when contact with the exposed wire was removed. For other people, the LEDs wouldn’t move at all, or move very erratically. This led to the discovery that different people have different amounts of charge. Not only that, different areas, rooms, air all have different amount of charge. If the user had a high amount of charge, then the device would work well. When the dice didn’t respond, the solution was for the user to move his or her arm until they could catch some charge in the air. These movements were often strange, unfamiliar or even funny! Multiple people could also explore holding hands, and making contact to see how it would affect the LEDs.

Starting from a simple electronic dice concept, through failure and trial and error, this device encouraged interaction, play and movement from people.