Water Bowl

What is it? For our media controller, we made a singing water bowl. It is a bamboo bowl filled with water. When you put you hand in the water, you begin to hear music. When you push your hand deeper into the water, the pitch of the music bends downward.

Concept. We wanted to make water audible. I often linked it to man-made synesthesia, where we are able to have our five senses mixes up, kind of like people who see sounds or people who hear smells. That said, we wanted people to hear touch. It works well because, as soon as you touch the water, a high pitch is played. As you put your hand deeper into the water, you’ll feel more water surrounding your hands — as well as a bit of water pressure — which coincides with the tone getting lower.

How’s it work? First of all, there is an Arduino between the two bowls, which are stacked on top of each other. That chip is connected to five photocell and a human capacitance sensor. The photocells detect how deep one’s hand is in the water; the capsense detects when someone has touched the water.

Troubles? We had a lot of trouble getting the capsense to stabilize. Also, working with water is miserable; we fried to Arduinos doing it. Lastly, our group was amazing, but we weren’t able to work in the same space as much as we would’ve liked.

Vision. It would be awesome for this bowl to be made on a bigger scale and put in a public space.

Reflection. I blogged about it. It’s a bit more personal here.

2 responses to “Water Bowl”

  1. Final: “Channels”

    […] environment. Also, I experimented with a human capacitance sensor + water in the “Water Bowl.” There were also photocells involved in that project, which detected the motion of the hands […]

  2. Channels – Take 2

    […] Working with water: The Bowl […]

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