Created in collaboration with Amy Chien and Aiwen Wang-Huddleston, MyCloud is a transformative environment designed to bring the relaxing outdoor experience of sky, cloud and grass into otherwise confined spaces. We hope to help people relax in their homes and office environments by simultaneously evoking childhood memories while activating people’s imagination. To give you a more detailed description of our project, white clouds in a blue sky projected above a green lawn creates a leisure environment that harkens memories of childhood and childhood pastimes. Such warm memories are further enhanced by the cloud pillows lying on the grass, which serve the dual function of comfortable cushioning, and act as controllers for dynamic cloud images in the sky. In short, not only can people watch the clouds float by and take on different shapes, but they actually actively shape the clouds as well. With MyCloud, the imagination that a person can have about clouds is expanded to another level where the clouds respond to people’s touch. MyCloud thus allows people to transform their interior spaces by building castles in the air.
Using a wireless cloud shaped pillow as a controller gives participants the ability to have a tactile relationship with clouds above them and to use the sky above them as their canvas. By squeezing the pillow in different areas, forces are applied that allow participants to control the shape and motion of the clouds. There are four cloud pillows so multiple participants can interact with each other’s clouds and collaborate on shapes. Each cloud pillow is contains hand sewn soft-circuit switches, an LillyPad Arduino and an Xbee to communicate with each other. In addition to the pillow controllers, the physical construction consists of a computer running custom software in Processing connected to an Xbee that communicates with all four pillows, a pair of speakers playing ambient music along with sounds from a public park, a projector aimed at the ceiling and a bed of grass over a custom made wooden hill.