Murmur: Kinetic Relief Sculpture, Multi-Sensory Display, Listening Machine

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Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI'08), ACM, New York, NY, pp.231-238


In this paper we describe the concept, design, and implementation of Murmur, an interactive kinetic display made of one hundred computer CPU fans. Murmur responds to sound input from its environment via embedded microphones to produce patterns on a reactive surface. The reactive surface consists of hinged paper pieces situated in front of each fan. When activated by sonic elements in the environment, including sounds intentionally generated by an interactor, Murmur responds by turning on and off its fans in a sequence. The wind pressure generated by the movement of the fans stimulates the surface, forcing the paper up and out to create a variety of dynamic patterns. Each pattern represents characteristics of the sonic environment. We also analyze the feedback received from the interactors and discuss the possible ways of making the interaction more immersive.

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