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Sensebridge: The Noisebridge Cyborg Group[edit | edit source]

Coin Type pager Motor

"If you can't beat the robot armies, join them."

We are concerned with human-machine interfaces.

Motivations[edit | edit source]

We want to "make the invisible visible", to bridge our senses. Many group members were inspired years ago by this awesome Wired article, which describes obtaining an unerring sense of direction via a compass belt. Is the brain really plastic enough to adapt to entirely new senses? How natural would it feel after you've fully adapted? Then what happens when you take the device off?

What new sense do you want? What existing sense might it map onto?

Terminology[edit | edit source]

To avoid confusion (where possible) we'll try to use these terms.

"Sensor" is the device that detects external stuff that the body (probably) can't detect. Sensors can be divided into those that sense the world, and those that digitize a user's actions. The latter are more commonly called "human input devices", (HID's).

"Display" is the way the device shows data to the body (not necessarily visually). This gets around the device-centric / body-centric problem that shows up when using the terms input & output.

"Armature" is the physical component of the device: the belt, hat, armband, etc; distinct from the electronics.

Mailing List[edit | edit source]

We have created a cyborg mailing list on the Noisebridge server. Please join us!

Component Sourcing[edit | edit source]

Here are pages for discussing:

sensors[edit | edit source]

detect a property of the world

displays[edit | edit source]

communicate it to the body/mind

armatures[edit | edit source]

hold the above together and in the proper place on the body

They also include a list of all known/speculated types of each.

Sensor and Display API[edit | edit source]

  • What might that mean?
    • A standard protocol that can:
      1. encompass most sensory data of the sort we are interested in researching
      2. allow for presentation of any those data through any of a wide variety of modalities
  • Why?
    • Plug-and-play(ish) interoperability of sensors and displays. Build three sensors and three displays, and we have 9 possible combinations, und so weiter.
    • Simplify development by separating sensing and presentation design/tasks.
  • How?
    • On the data sensing end:
      1. Identify a primary set of interesting stimuli, consider various encodings thereof.
      2. Abstract away from the physical phenomena the stimuli represent and look instead at common patterns in the data streams.
      3. ???
    • On the data display end:
      1. Identify and prototype a number of display methods.
      2. For each method think of:
        • What modulations of the signal are possible; intensity, spacing, direction, timing...? Based on that, what is the theoretical bandwidth of that method?
        • How sensitive is the average person there? How much of the signal can the brain interpret meaningfully (too much noise vs. too weak of a signal)? Based on that, what is the practical bandwidth that we might expect?

Current Projects[edit | edit source]

Compass Vibro-Anklet

Eyes in the back of your back

Tongue Tingler (Trans-lingual Electric Nerve Stimulator)

Free hands input device

Pulse Necklace

QuickLook Displays

Ultrasonic Hearing / Echolocation

Technicolor Dreamcoat

List of senses we do not possess

Miscellaneous Distractions[edit | edit source]

Edible interconnects

Cybernetic Theory[edit | edit source]

Cybernetic loop of GPS + vibrating hat, diagram.

Pseudo-cybernetic loop showing neural integration of artificial sensory system, diagram.

Cybernetics page on Wikipedia

Links[edit | edit source]

Youtube of experimenter stimulating his face with small electrical pulses to produce externally controlled movements: - remote control cockroach

VibroHat in action at BIL 2008:

Lamont's PWM code

Meeting Notes[edit | edit source]

March 15, 2009

March 22, 2009

March 29, 2009

April 5, 2009

April 19, 2009

(the meetings continue apace; the minutes, sadly not)

July 12, 2009

Hack Session July 13, 2009

July 19, 2009

August 2, 2009

Oct 4, 2009