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More on phidgets

For Chaotic!

The phidgets are something I'm using for a uni course (Advanced Human Centred Computer Systems topics - catchy name, huh?). We're looking at Universal Usability, or how to design something that will work for as wide an audience as possible. The phidgets are a system that's been designed to offer a range of quick and easy physical widgets to integrate with a computer and build tangible user interfaces. It's kind of a plug and play system where you can add sliders or accelerometers or force sensors etc, build them into whatever you want, attach them via USB and write software to control and respond to them. They allow for rapid prototyping of a range of input and output devices, whereas historically it would have required detailed knowledge of programming up all the connectors etc to even get the computer to interface with the hardware.

This week I was just using a slider and an LED. We were tasked to get the LED  to turn on when the slider reached a given position, and off again. It was pretty basic, but to allow us to get to grips with the system. We're hoping to use RFID tags to build an object locator, and output to sound and either a screen or LEDs. I think it's going to be quite fun!

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