A Unicorn to control the Ambient Light

The Unicorn is a tangible artifact to control the ambient light in the Living Place Lab. Sentimental artifacts, heirlooms, and personal belongings—displayed in homes—represent a person’s identity and social world. But a lot of these things are not meant to be integrated in ubiquitous computing environments. Therefore, this project considers the integration of personal artifacts into a home automation system. To do so, we purchased a vintage porcelain horse on the flea market and upcycled it with conductive components, such as a screw. Through the placement of the screw on the horse’s head, the porcelain horse transformed into a unicorn. To control the ambient light, we integrated the artifact into the Living Place Lab. To this end, the unicorn uses the ESP32 microcontroller and the capacitive sensor. When a user touches the unicorn’s horn, the unicorn publishes a message to the home automation environment and activates the rainbow lighting. In addition, a neo pixel LED provides a user’s feedback directly on the upcycled artifact.

A project by Jessica Broscheit and Fabian Erdmann.

 

Overview of the sleeping room.

Detail of the interaction.

Video of the interaction.

Making of.

People

Fabian Erdmann

Fabian Erdmann

 

Jessica Broscheit

Jessica Broscheit