Alíz Gordos
Jun 12 · 4 min read

This article will lead you through on a project which has been done in my 5th semester at Metropolitan University of Budapest.

I have studied Media Design, which is a quite interesting faculty due to several reasons. I chose this faculty to learn a bit about all of the professions which I can meet with in the gaming industry. My plan was to become a game designer but in Hungary there are no courses on universities regarding to this profession so I had to find an alternative way and I found the best one.

About Media Design and Metropolitan University of Budapest

On this faculty we could experience a lot of professions such as 2D and 3D graphics, animations, sound design, webdesign, game design, interactive arts and installations, programming, electronics and physics and so on…

This faculty showed us that the border between arts and science is blurred.

This viewpoint is not so popular in Hungary. Fortunately, it’s about to change — media design is getting more popular, artistic people are getting more interested in science as well.
I believe this will help to the Hungarian gaming industry to grow in a few years.

The beginning

In my last year at the university I could learn the most useful courses. My favourite was the interactive visual arts, where we could create different types of projects, e.g. some people made VJ projects, which is a kind of an audio visual performance.
Our teacher, Andrea Sztojánovits, showed us a lot of things and ways how can we create these audio projects with different tools and softwares. She also showed us her brain sensor and explained its function and behaviour. At that point when we got a little bit familiar with that bran sensor I decided to make my semester project with this tool.

In my project, with the brain sensor the user can control the luminous intensity of a bulb which filled by LEDs. The more the user is getting closer to the Alpha state, the more the bulb becomes lighter.

Tools and setup

We used Andrea’s brain sensor, which called Emotive EPOC.

Emotive EPOC

It’s an older version, so first we had to make the sensors wet. It took a while to prepare this tool properly for the use. Its more effective if the user is bald.

The next tool was an Arduino UNO with a few LEDs, cables/wires and resistors (I used 2x100 ohm for 1 LED).

One LED connected to Arduino UNO

After we set up the tools, we had to make them work and then connect together for the result.

From the brain sensor’s side, we need Emotive EPOC’s software. It helps you to see the incoming data and waves.

Emotive EPOC software

To define the data you need to know the herz of the different states.

States of the brain

In my project the goal for the user was to reach the Alpha state, therefore the bulb reaches the full luminosity.

From the Arduino side we needed the Arduino software with the MIDI.h library included.

Arduino code which can read MIDI data

It was necessary to make it read MIDI data, since the initial idea was to translate the data from the brain sensor into MIDI signs.

To make them communicate we needed Mind Your OSC, which can read the brain sensor’s signs and it can also forward it to Max MSP. With Max MSP we could define what we wanted to see — e.g. we could’ve made this project to reflect on stress, or concentration. It’s our choice what we want to forward in Max MSP.

In the last step we used Hairless MIDI software to create the communication towards the arduino, so it could accept the translated MIDI signs from Max MSP.

The result…

…is a fading bulb!

Fading bulb after the arduino code part, but before the connection with the brain sensor

My main part was in the Arduino connections and code.

Many Thanks to Andrea Sztojánovits for helping me in this really exciting project!
Don’t forget to visit her works here!

Special thanks to:
Gábor Kunszt
Models who wore the brain sensor so I could test its working

NYC Design

A publication for designers in New York and followers all around the world. Design thinking is what makes us write here on Medium to share with the designers of the world.

Alíz Gordos

Written by

User and Player Experience Designer / Game Designer / Gamer

NYC Design

A publication for designers in New York and followers all around the world. Design thinking is what makes us write here on Medium to share with the designers of the world.

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