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Considering the limited time for the completion of this project, a number of stages had to be identified. The first stage would be to modify HAL in order to have individual access to every LED. The second to connect HAL with a PC through a Serial port and upload to it a new pattern program, and the final stage to use ad-hoc9 communication in order to be able to send programs to a distant HAL through a network or to connect two HALs together. The division of the stages would ensure that even if I got only to the second stage, I will still be able to test the prototype and get feedback from the users.


Technical Details

Fig. 37 Storyboard scene 3 Hal can be an object of one’s ambient environment, the user any time he chooses he can send a message to one having a similar HAL

I then focused my research on the potential driving system that would allow me to control 81 LEDs. Prototyping with physical computing is not a very easy task; it integrates activities like computer programming, basic electronics and supportive software and hardware tools. The first thing I had to learn was how to deal with a microcontroller.

Hernando Barragán [2004] in his thesis “Wiring – Prototyping Physical interaction Design” of the Masters Program in Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, identified and outlined the basic features of a microcontroller.

Fig. 38 Storyboard scene 4 The message reaches the other HAL

9 In computer networking, ad-hoc is a connection method for wireless LANs that requires no base station — devices discover others within range to form

a network for those computers. Devices may search for target nodes that are out of range by flooding the network with broadcasts that are forwarded by each node. Connections are possible over multiple nodes (multihop ad-hoc network). Routing protocols then provide stable connections even if nodes are moving around randomly .[source:Wikipedia]

Physical Computing:

Using Everyday Objects as Communication tools


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