Sto Material Connexions Interactive Display

How did you hear about us?

I saw a video on the topic of creating magical experiences at SXSW in 2015. One of the highlighted experiences in the video was a touch wall that used conductive paint. It looked like a great way to create the unexpected from the familiar. With some free time on my hands late last year I got the Touch Board Starter Kit and started getting familiar with Electric Paint as well as with programming the board.

Why did you want to work with Electric Paint and the Touch Board?

In general, the making of magical experiences is what we strive for. Electric Paint gives us a great opportunity to do this. We can transform ordinary objects into super-powered substances of delight.

As for Bare Conductive’s products, they are just so easy to work with. There’s a lot of starter materials and how-to resources online, especially the tutorial on getting started with programming the Touch Board. Every time we wanted to get something to work we just did it by following the instructions. Once we got it working, we just kept tweaking things a little bit more and every time we were able to do what we needed to. No compromises.

What software tools were you using?

To reprogram the Touch Board I used the Arduino Software IDE. I used Microsoft Visual Studio as my IDE to write the unifying web app. That used node.js and and some HTML/JS and CSS. I had to take inputs from the Touch Board and send them out through a PC to talk to 2 other PCs and to a Philips Hue Smart Lighting system.

Did you encounter any difficulties while using the Touch Board and Electric Paint?

Not really. We did some experiments applying the paint to different surfaces to get an understanding of how well it would adhere, dry and get a feel for tactility. The paint worked better on some surfaces and under some applications than others, but that was expected.

Could you share more details on the way you used our technology?

We reprogrammed the Touch Board to act as a keyboard interface and used 4 of the 12 inputs to simulate key presses. The Touch Board was connected to a PC running a node.js and based web app. As touches were detected, the web app would broadcast on the network giving unique commands to the other PCs triggering either the videos or the sounds to start. The app communicated directly with the Hue Smart light.

From a physical setup, we modified a standard drafting table ordered from a drafting supply warehouse. Our creative team designed a graphic meant to give the impression of a blueprint under development laid out on the table top. Where the touch elements were used, we placed icons to indicate the type of content that would be triggered by touch, play button, light bulb, speaker. The graphic was printed as a one piece vinyl decal and applied to the surface of the table.

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Images and Video: Godfrey