Friday, June 28, 2013

FFT success


I have the mic, FFT algorithm and Glasses Designer all talking to each other and working properly. Now comes the fun part, creating the visuals. I've done the classic frequency bars as a test and I think it looks amazing! In the video below you can see it working in real time. I'm playing the music on my computer with headphones attached. They in turn are sitting on the mic which is connected to my prototyping unit. The prototype is processing the data then sending it back to my computer where it is displayed. (I know its a little Rube Goldburg style but it works!) 

If you have any suggestions for patterns let us know in the comments. Or better yet download Glasses Designer and show us what you want!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adding a Mic


I love things that light up and blink in time to music .There is something magical about not just hearing music, but being visually immersed in it. My most successful product to date is the DALCON which lets you pre-program LED strips to go along with music. But it is built for a pre-staged show, not for walking around at a concert or going to a dance party. These glasses need to respond to music in real time and that means it needs an ear. And not just any will do, we need a MEMS microphone as an ear.

It is the same type of microphone you will find in a cell phone or a smart phone. They are very small, low power and very durable. With very few components it can be attached to the MCU (brain) of the glasses and let it hear similar to the way you hear. All that needs to be done is to interpret that raw data and turn it into a beautiful visual show that I will be proud to wear on my face.


Turning the raw data coming from the microphone into something that can be displayed is no small task. It involves a branch of mathematics called Fourier Transforms. More specifically a programming algorithm called a FFT (Fast Fourier Tranform). Basically it takes the raw data and transforms it into the volumes of individual sound frequencies. It makes the data look more like the way we hear sound.

With the data transformed it becomes an artistic exercise of making pretty animations. Finding the right microphone, designing the proper amplifier circuitry and performing the math is simply what is required. The audio visual animations is the really needed part. It is the part that drives me to continue working, continue building and continue making the next pair of PEGS. 

Party on. And don't forget to subscribe to this blog and like our Facebook page

Monday, June 10, 2013

System Level Designs


A consumer grade electronic product needs to be more than just a good circuit board that does something novel. It should be something that connects with the user on an emotional level; it should be artfully crafted in every detail to go beyond its basic functions; it should be a beautiful product that the user will cherish; its look and feel should be the center of attention leaving the electronics to do what electronics do, hide behind the scene and perform some the underlying functions.

We haven't posted here in over two weeks, not because we are not working on or losing interest in the project but because we didn't want to lose the momentum we had going in the artistic design. We're trying to craft the identity of PEGS 2.0. It already has a 'soul', the electronics are known, they simply need to be shaped to fit into the outer shell. If you haven't guessed by now we've decided to have the entire frame made by injection molded plastic. We're partnering with the local technical college to use their equipment and expertise to give the PEGS a beautiful covering. So after many meetings and design reviews we have two outstanding concepts for the PEGS new look. We are holding a vote on Facebook to let you tell us the better choice, because after all we are designing these for you :)


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