Making Furniture Interactive

October 30, 2007

term proposal

Filed under: Alastair Firth,Final Project,Proposals — afirth @ 3:34 am
Tags: , , ,


The average student relies on a number of pieces of technology in order to evaluate the current state of their enviroment. Each day, we interact with technology to evaluate the current state of our enviroment. We ask it to obtain the time, the weather, and to perform certain tasks for us, including waking us up and playing music. Many of these tasks are currently performed by discrete pieces of equipment. This project aims to incorporate all of these functions into one relatively integrated, easy to use package controlled by an iPod and an Arduino, and providing feedback through speakers and an LED matrix.

Ease of use


Technical Approach:
(see accompanying diagram)
The device will have 2.5 states 🙂
State 1:
The Arduino will interface with the light and temperature sensors to control the LEDs. The LEDs will represent the current temperature and time in a pleasant way. They will also ideally be dimmed/brightened according to the ambient light level.
State 1.5:
The Arduino is aware that an alarm has been set on the iPod. It continues to display a subdued representation of the current time and temperature. When the iPod turns on, the LEDs become much more vibrant. Music begins to play. A snooze function may also be implemented.
State 2:
The Ardunio is in entertainment mode. Music is playing and the Arduino interfaces the audio with the LED display to create pleasant visual effects.

Materials List:
Light sensor
Temperature sensor (LM35 or similar)
LED matrix (or array thereof)
LED controllers (max7219 or 7221)
Stereo Amplifier (I may end up building this)
State change method (1 button?)
Power source (big)
Related connecting hardware

Learning List:
use the LedController Lib
process audio in
get a functional, accurate clock (maybe another clock crystal).
stereo amplifier
controlling the ipods volume through a dock connector
using the max72xx



  1. There are some ipod connectors on Sparkfun: . I have no idea what they do but I thought I’d mention them in case they were useful. Good luck!

    Comment by Ronit — October 30, 2007 @ 10:35 am | Reply

  2. Maybe ignore my previous comment. Upon further research/reflection for my own project, I’m going to stay far away from ipod hacking; it looks….scary.

    Comment by Ronit — October 31, 2007 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: