Notes from a presentation by Tom Igoe
at FlashForward 2005.
Using the serial port and a pc to create interactive art and toys.
One of the more liberating ideas that’s come out of the past couple decades is amateur software development. Instead of seeing software as something that’s handed down from «the professionals», we see it as a very flexible toolkit. This attitude hasn’t yet taken hold on the hardware side. The basic physical interfaces we’ve got for the computer don’t meet the demands of every profession, and there are many needs that go unmet because there’s just not a big enough market for a hardware vendor to bother making a specialized widget. We’ve already accepted the idea that if no one makes the software you need, you can develop it yourself. The same is true, or can be, with hardware. This is the spirit behind physical computing.
InstantSOUP is intended for an audience of design students – interaction design, product design, architecture – and for people who work with Macromedia Flash™ and Action Script.
It makes the first steps into the world of physical prototyping almost as easy as preparing Instant Soup.
InstantSOUP is a way to connect the virtual and physical worlds. It teaches how to make physical input devices for games, how to connectrepurposed electronic gadgets to Flash, how to activate physical objects from remote locations and even how to create little robots.