The CodaChrome System

A. The Description and the Main Idea

The main idea of the interaction with the system is the programming of light modules that can display and transition between millions of colors with a new software environment supporting multiple representations for designing dynamic light patterns.

The powerful idea central to the design of CodaChrome is how people – in particular children – make sense of their conception of time and models for temporal patterns.


B. The Vision

On the research side, this system can be seen as a tool for the researchers in the fields of learning research and cognitive science to look more closely into issues of spatio-temporal cognition.

On the application side, CodaChrome can help rethink and create hardware and software tools that match the ways in which artists and designers prefer to engage with their materials.


C. The Studies & Preliminary results


The user studies will be formed as 2-4 day workshops, and will address such issues like the ones mentioned above in the context of designing and making interactive, dynamic jewelry.

The first preliminary study took place over the summer of 2002. The event, called “Electro-Jewels”, was organized by three groups, Everyday Learning at Media Lab Europe, the Ark, a cultural center for children in Dublin and the Grassroots Invention Group at MIT Media Lab, that collaborated to identify the ideas and concepts behind it and to develop the activities with respect to the technological tools and craft materials.

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The second user study took place on February 27-28th 2003 at the MIT Media Lab with 7 children and their teacher Kay McGarity from the 6th grade of Watertown Middle School

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D. The System

The CodaChrome system includes hardware components (the Tower system with and programmable Tricolor modules) and software for programming the patterns in a visual and gestural way using multiple representations of the color space.

The software environment has been redesigned to include new tools for the creation and control of the color patterns. These widgets incorporate a wider set of representations for the basic research concepts. They include the concept of a timeline as an integral piece, especially for controlling the exact timing and speed of the overall pattern created by the combination of all modules.

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E. The Who, Where ...

Margarita Dekoli, Chris Lyon, Tim Gorton, Bakhtiar Mikhak

Grassroots Invention Group @ MIT Media Lab