Ignoratio Elenchi: Breaking News – in progress

09Apr07

As of midnight last night, everything is working again. The last major hurled was getting rid of the micro-controller and working with the chips on the Xbee radios to send and receive data. One master transmitter receives byte values from a video tracking algorithm using the jmyron library in Processing, which blankets out the data to all the radios connected in its pan id network. I’ve decided to do data filtering in software rather than hardware, meaning, rather than having the Arduino select which radios get what byte value and readdressing the destination each time the value changes, thus slowing the response time, all values go out to all radios, and once read into max/msp/jitter, the values are filtered through a select object, much like a grand if statement. The Jitter patch had to also be re-programmed to read from the serial port directly rather than using the ardunio2max sub-patcher as well as changing the filtering so that each patch can easily be configured for the byte value it should be sending through to bang the quick time videos to switch.

picture-4.png

Here the video tracking program in Processing follows an object, marked by the green circle. It scans through the frame pixel by pixel and looks for difference from the previous frame and tracks the object in the foreground with the most contrast to the background. If no changes occur frame to frame, the screen looks black. I have created four hot spots within the cameras field, now 340×340 square. As shown in the illustration bellow. The camera will be turned 45 degrees to the delineated area on the floor (not visible to the viewer) that the interaction between participant and screens will occur. With the LCD screens facing in-ward, the participant will have to enter the “enclosure” one by one to view each. This solution is a working compromise until i get the head tracking code to work, after which i would prefer to have 5 screens and in a soft arc formation – i prefer odd numbers and circles, but “you can;t always get what you want”.

If a person steps forward into one hot spot to view a screen, a byte value of 1, for example, will be written to the serial port and sent out of the Zig Bee radio to the others below where the one looking for the value 1 in jitter will switch from actual footage of the war to a fox news report of the same event. Thus, when the person moves over to look at another screen, as they will hopefully see the others playing something very different, that one will switch too, and the one he left will switch back. At this point, I’m thinking that the entire field may not be more than 6 foot square, large enough that one would have to physically move form one side to another to view a 6″ screen properly, and thus be able to read that a person movement into a camera.

finallayout.jpg

Here is a very basic setup of an Xbee radio connected directly to a serial to USB port with status LEDs and a 3.3volt regulator with two smoothing capacitors. These will be receiving the output from the camera and video tracking and sending those values directly into max/msp/jitter.

xbee2.jpg

and here is a screen shot of my working patch

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