Pour Reception turns water into radio controls

Using a capacitive sensing arrangement, artists Tore Knudsen, Simone Okholm Hansen, and Victor Permild have come up with a way to interact with music with two glasses of water.

One pours water into a glass to turn the radio on. Channels can then be changed by transferring water from one glass into the other, and fine-tuned by touching the outside of container. Volume can even be adjusted by poking a finger into the water itself.

An Arduino Leonardo is used to pick up capacitive signals, and data is then sent a computer where a program called Wekinator decodes user interactions.

Pour Reception is a playful radio that strives to challenge our cultural understanding of what an interface is and can be. By using capacitive sensing and machine learning, two glasses of water are turned into a digital material for the user to explore and appropriate.

The design materials that we have available when designing digital artifacts expands along with the technological development, and with the computational machinery it is possible to augment our physical world in ways that challenges our perceptions of the objects we interact with. In this project, we aim to change the users perception of what a glass is – both cultural and technical.

You can see it in action below, and read more about the project in its write-up here.

Arduino Blog

Commuters remain frustrated by poor mobile reception on UK trains

Commuters remain frustrated by poor mobile reception on UK trains

Commuters in the UK continue to be frustrated by the inadequate state of mobile signal reception on trains and remain sceptical of Wi-Fi alternatives, according to a survey.

As many as 52 percent of passengers claim to experience such poor mobile signal that they say they are unable to perform vital work, such as checking emails, keeping in touch with clients or accessing files remotely, during their journey.

The findings were revealed in a poll of over 2,000 commuters across Britain, carried out by YouGov and commissioned by wireless mobile comms company Cobham Wireless. Supposedly, the survey canvassed the opinions of commuters that use train routes throughout the UK, with half of their journeys lasting longer than 30 minutes.

Poor mobile signal leads to poor productivity

While commuters may claim that poor mobile connectivity means time that could be spent working is lost and therefore productivity suffers, train operators will likely point to the Wi-Fi alternatives now available.

Such an argument is seemingly futile, however, with 51 percent of respondents to YouGov’s survey indicating that they would rather use the internet services offered by their mobile provider than connect to a public Wi-Fi network. Just 36 percent of those questioned would prefer to connect to the Wi-Fi on offer, though just 13 percent of commuters acknowledged that their Wi-Fi service was good.

By contrast, 63 percent of commuters expressed concerns about the security of Wi-Fi on trains as the main reason not to use the service, while 41 percent said they were averse to sharing personal information to access the service.

Read more: Railways and post in Thailand to benefit from IoT and blockchain

“Good news” for mobile operators

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Ingo Flömer, director of product management at Cobham Wireless, suggested that the results represent “good news for mobile operators and the rail companies looking to improve the standard of service they offer to their customers” as it gives “them the opportunity to satisfy the demand for better quality mobile coverage on trains.”

“Passengers are already frustrated with disruptions to rail services caused by delays, industrial action and maintenance, with major works taking place at Waterloo station in London and on services between Cardiff and Newport. These frustrations are compounded by train fares increasing year on year. The results of the study are clear, more investment in mobile phone coverage would go a long way to improving passenger’s train journey experience and ensure they stay connected to work during their busy commute,” Flömer added.

Read more: SNCF on track for driverless high-speed trains by 2023

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