Final Project || Caitlin + Liza

Glowing Hoop
Playfulness reminders for adults #1

Caitlin Morris ++ Liza Stark

Glowing Hoop is the first part of a series of objects designed to remind adults to be playful.

The primary user audience are adults who are perpetually enmeshed in their professional or academic lives. Hopelessly addicted to the screen and seriousness of accomplishing a particular goal, these adults have forgotten the virtues of spontaneity and the merits of play. These objects seek to remind them of the importance of physical movement, mental breaks, and chance behavior to reinvigorate themselves and their process. Too often we become slaves to our practice: this is an attempt to break free of the entropy and shed our robot skins.

The hoop rests in a holder which is controlled by Arduino to rotate like a clock hand. After prolonged inactivity, the hand rotates, dropping the hoop to the ground and sparking action. An Arduino Mini on the hoop communicates with the holder via XBee, causing the hoop to start glowing different colors when the hoop falls off. An accelerometer in the hoop tells the holder when the hoop is spun, indicating a period of playful activity. The holder then returns to its original position and the lights go back to a solid color. The counter for inactivity is reset, restarting the cycle.

Iterations ++ Prior Art

Future Directions

In future iterations, we will focus on different types of LED behaviors, smaller hardware, and different patterns on the hula hoop itself. We would also like to explore spaces for potential installation and usage more in depth.