Water interface

Development of an user interface using water. The system analyses user's movement in the water and reacts with current variations. Completed in two weeks during the 'Experience Prototyping - Hardware Sketching' course, part of the Interaction Design MA.


2 weeks, October 2006


Nick Alexander

This project has 7 images and 3 videos

First test with the homemade pump

We build a water tank, a pump using a cheap power tool, and a Phidget servo with the computer. It is sketchy but it works!

Nick and I working on the electronics

We used light gates to track user's gestures in the water.

Mounting and wiring the light gates

Very sketchy electronics

We build this from scratch in just a few days, with limited supplies. Constraints are good for pushing you to the limits!

First test with the gesture tracker and the tank

Final setup

The two pumps were so noisy so we decided to concealed them far from the project. Flexible tubing runs under two doors, and we can still hear them!

Water channel for aquatic interaction

Concept video shot the first day of the project

We present different interaction ideas we have with the water interface.

Video mov, 640 x 480px , 25.87 MB

Testing of the light gates

Video mov, 640 x 480px , 3.98 MB

Us testing the semi-final version of the project

It works, although the pumps are very slow to engage and create significant water flow.

Video mov, 640 x 480px , 59.58 MB