Tom Igoe

Email Clock

Tom Igoe is a lecturer at New York Universities Interactive Telecommunications Program mentioned in two posts over the last few weeks (RoPaSci and MoBeeLine). He has taught courses including; Introduction to Physical Computing, Sculpting with Data, Networked Objects, Sensor Workshop, Physical Computing Studio and his research focuses on physical computing techniques, applications and embedded networking applications.

There are several interesting works on his website projects page, two which are of particular interest to me. Email Clock (version 1) (above left), which has a version 2 (above right), is a clock which gets sped up depending on the number of new emails in an email account:

This clock would run at a normal pace when there is no email waiting for me, but every new kilobyte of email would drive it hyperactively forward. The clock would worry over the volume of my email so I wouldn’t have to.

The Networked Piano, a work which is currently in progress, is:

an internet-aware player piano…The idea was to find ways to physically represent the activity of the network [at ITP], to give visitors a feeling that something’s happening, and of the general pattern of activity…there are about 90 computers [in the department] in use for various purposes, I decided I’d start by mapping those computers one-to-one to the keys of a piano. Any network-related activity coming from or going to that computer would play a given key on the piano.

I look forward to seeing the latter of these complete, hopefully with some video / audio documentation.

Note: More information on his website about physical computing in his collection of resources, examples, and lecture notes for the physical computing courses at ITP. This is a usful resource for anyone looking to investigate physical computing and it’s some of associated technologies, max/msp, arduino, processing etc.