Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Social Object: The Making

So its time to build my project into a usable product, since I have done the similar project in my BA, I have general understanding of how the things would go. And to be honest I have no design on how the product is going to look like, I mean, unless I can etch my own circuit board and have control with everything, I wont be able to design a very slim product with high precision.

So I kind of making it up as i go. And it is quite a challenge since I like my product to look like futuristic and  clean. therefore I start up just building a container to hold my arduino board, and I started from that point slowly adding more components to it.

At this point, I have everything mocked up and soldered to a prototyping shield for Arduino, that way I can have a nice even platform to work on and can still use my arduino board for future project.

I attached my radio wave detector to arduino board and that whole piece will be the main body of the product.

The white square is my peltier unit, and a temperature sensor attached on the "heat" side to monitor the temperature.

Attached a switch to the rear of the body, the switch turns on the arduino and the detector but it also acts as a safety should the user cannot stand the heat, they can shut it down immediately.

Test the thing every now and then during the making process is extremely important, as I had some awful experience when I finished everything then to find out some wired has come off the solder, a real pain. That is why carefully put everything together and making sure nothing is wrong can save you a lot of time when building projects like this.(for some reason on the the LED doesn't lid, couldn't do much with it as it's built inside the detector circuit board).

This two photos are sort of fail example. This is when I attempted to attach the body to an arm strap sort of thing and failed. I did not use this material in my final product but it's worth recording it as I spent so much time on how make it.

This is when I started to paint the final product, I did this several times, paint on and using sand paper to sand it of, to create a much nicer and even finish.

And this is the final product photo, I tried to make it as professional as I could. I am glad that I didn't fail that much, still lots of room for improvement, but at least didn't fail that much.

Social Object: The Code

Here is the code I used for arduino, it is a very simple code as the radio wave detector is shop bought, and the only thing im extracting from is an analog value.

As I said, this is a very simple code, but it works fine for my project. And simpler the code can be, the less thing that can go wrong, even if they do, it will be much easier to find and fix the bug, so I am generally happy with this code. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Social Object: Nomophobia

Let's take a closer look at something that just starting to emerge since the last two decades, Nomophobia. Nomophobia stands for No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia.Its the fear of being out of contact from mobile phones. To some others the term "phobia" may be a misuse as it to majority, it's caused by normal anxiety. 

With the changes of technologies, new challenges are coming up on a daily basis. New kinds of phobias have emerged, the so called techno-phobias. Since the first mobile phone in the market in 1983, it has become one of the mainstreams in the majority of societies. Shambare, Rugimbana & Zhowa (2012) claimed that cell phones are "possibly the biggest non-drug addiction of the 21st century, and that colleges students may spend up to nine hours every day on their phones that can lead to dependence on such technologies as a driver of modern life and an example of "a paradox of technology". that is both freeing and enslaving.

Society today has become over dependent on technology. which may not be a bad thing but we need to watch out for the potential problem it could cause us if not careful. Personally I have this type of "anxiety" too, I believe most people have it as well, and it is a challenge to fight against the desire of having mobile phones by out hands. This is probably the reason why it pains me so much to develop this project as I do not want to be the subject under my own design. But on the other hand, I understand the consequences of this if without proper attention. 

The researches and the awareness many people trying to put up are convincing, the fear of loneliness with the presents of technology have driven mankind into a endless cycle. You don't want to be left out, so you share, post, networking over the social networks, the more you networking over internet, the more you are isolated in the real world, then you feel left out and then back to the beginning. The truth is, we can do batter than this, we have the capability to learn, to adapt from different situation, and we are able to indicate the problems we have. So why not take the chance to make a difference before it's all too late? 

My project seems to toggle the area of Nomophobia, but really what I am trying to express through this project, is no difference from all the videos and researches wanted to say. Internet is harmful to our social life when not being used correctly, the symptoms are  already clear, the only thing that matters is what do we choose to do? 

External Read:
Mobile phone overuses:

Internet addiction disorder:

Break Free from Nomophobia:


Friday, 17 April 2015

Social Object: Peltier Unit

Peltier effect, also known as Thermoelectric Cooling, is commonly used in mini fridge, it acts as the cooling agent. The Peltier effect is the presence of heating or cooling at an electrified junction of two different conductors and is named after French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, who discovered it in 1834. When a current is made to flow through a junction between two conductors A and B, heat may be generated (or removed) at the junction.

Peltier Module uses this effect, with two pieces of ceramic plates cover the each side of the junction, when a current flows through, one side becomes freezing cold (down to -30 degree Celsius) the other becomes burning hot (up to 70 degree Celsius). This effect can be used to generate electricity, measure temperature or change the temperature of objects. Because the direction of heating and cooling is determined by the polarity of the applied voltage, thermoelectric devices can be used as temperature controllers. 

The most peltier unit runs 12v DC, but with my experience, anything lower than 12v will still work, just the matter of how effective it will be. For this project I'm using 9v battery, a brief test confirmed that the effect will still take place with 9v input. And so the Peltier Module is my feedback mechanism.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Social Object: Radio wave Detector Prototype Three

After some research on DIY Radio Wave Detector, turns out it is not that easy. I both technical and component terms.

So to save time and budget, I went for a commercial product (hope this is not cheating), GSM Radio wave (Microwave) Detector. The detector was made to find radiowaves used in communication, which is perfect for my need.

What I did, was hack the detector slightly, so I can get a measure from it. In side the detector, there is a vibration motor, upon detection signals it will vibrate. I removed the motor and connect the negative leg to Arduino analog input, So Arduino could read the value of its detection. And from that value, I will be able to use it to trigger my feedback. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Speculative Design: More about Cyber-warfare

After some researches, it turns out that cyber-warfare is such a grey area in legal term, United Nations has got international laws to cover human rights and laws of war. But there is none which specified activity such as cyber-wars. Since there is no a single agreement on what defines cyber-warfare, in the political sense this can be really tricky.

As the video describes. if somebody causes damage to a nation through internet and cyber-activity, does that qualified as an act of war? Anything done over the cyberspace is as clear as mud, there is nothing to restrict or prevent the possible cyber-crime. This clearly shows the lack of awareness over the issue of cyber-wars. Maybe is because the harm it causes is yet to reach the point where it can affect the general public in a dramatic scale, but there is a sign.Powerful countries worldwide have started establishing cyber-activity units, they have specialized army for cyberwars. And few documentaries have shown how much they have done already in the military.

It seems like cyberwarfare is really a thing we should look into

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Social Object: Things Con Proposal

Nomo-Wearable (Eric Lin Yuan-Tang)
A wearable whose purpose is to keep the user away from engaging social media by subjecting the user to unpleasant physical feedback on their arms/hands when operating a mobile phone.

Nomophobia is a trend to society that could lead to negative results if leave unanswered. The project aim to bring people back from virtual world and virtual social contact into real social life.

The methodology is quite simple, the device uses a passive radio wave detector with low sensitivity, which will only respond when the detector is near a radio wave transmitter i.e. Mobile phone. As the detector shows a signal, Arduino activates the physical feedback device applying unpleasant feeling to the user encouraging them to drop the phone.


I am going to build several models with different feedback system to allow people to try the prototypes on location.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Things about Cyber-security

Chris Domas in his TED Talk explain how does he fetching the information he needs from a device. As we all know that our computer only recognizes two things, 1 and 0, on and off, which is binary codes. A huge series of 1 and 0 construct the softwares and digital information as we see today. Therefore to find some very specific data inside a sea of 1 and 0 is not the easiest thing to do and it would take enormous amount of time just to search one single word.

So he came up whit this idea of visualise the binary information in to a picture (more or less), and from that piece of picture he could tell what short of information that series of binary codes may containt, it is not perfect yet but it has save him a lot of time for his cyber-security job. 

This particular way is quite different from what I have imagine the cyber-security looks like, even I have no idea of how ordinary data fetching looks like when people talking about stealing data through internet, but I would have imagined it was done in the way of not so dissimilar to how we operating our computer, not exactly the same of course. But I thought there will be some sort of interface to work with and not just a huge load of 1 and 0.

I thought, at least, it would look like the picture above, to have some languages we understand and not like this