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The magic bench(es) is/are located in an overlooked hallway in the ITP floor.

They shine with joy when they perceive movement; they might be inviting people to sit on them or they might be encouraging them to keep moving.

They go from a saturated and not-so-bright deep red color, to a warm and bright yellow. They took the inspiration for their hues from looking at nascent fire and several sunrises – and dying fire and several sunsets.

Their “brain” uses GNU/Linux running Processing and Q Light Controller +.  Their “organs” consist in two webcams, four ColorKinetics ColorBlasts, one PDS-150e to controll them, and one Enttec Open DMX-USB interface.

They use the two webcams to look for changes in a total of four different sections or points of view – each webcam feed is divided in half. The amount of change in each of the sections triggers a proportional change in the light characteristics in each of the lamps. Linear interpolation is used to ease the transitions.

System diagram

Source files

The files used are in this Github repo:

Here‘s a post that documents how I connected the two programs.

More posts about the research process can be found under the Light and Interactivity category

QLC+ State

The Simple Desk shows all the DMX channels in use

The virtual console has three sliders per fixture (one slider per color channel)

The four lamps are configured as Generic RGB fixtures