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wet-feet-banner.jpg

Wet Feet

This is a work in progress

Since I developed the concept for this prototype (2012), there has been considerable innovation in the world of simulated experiences, namely Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and other Virtual Reality HMD's. I intend to redevelop this general concept as a VR experience wherein I test the boundaries of the audio, visual, and tactile modalities. If we see ourselves stepping into water, and hear the sound of the water at our feet, how can we elevate this simulation through our sense of touch?

 
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First, I will make a binaural recording of myself stepping into, and around in, a tub of water. 
This piece is called 'Wet Feet.' It is comprised of a wooden basin hooded by a velvet curtain, motion sensors (programmed with Arduino), used and discarded contact lenses, LEDs, and a specialized 3D speaker effect . The subject is asked to remove their shoes and socks. Next, to step into the basin and close the curtain to dim the light (and surrounding noise). Upon stepping in a motion sensor will turn on a small speaker (a Big Jambox) fastened to the wall before them. The sensor will also illluminate a set of LED's shone through the contact lenses to create a distinct ripple effect (location of LED's TBD). This speaker will play back the binaural recording of stepping into a bath and wading around.* The speaker will use its LiveAudio feature that works with a technology called Bacch3D sound. Bacch was engineered at Princeton's 3D3A Lab, spearheaded by Professor Edgar Choueiri, the Director of Princeton University's Program in Engineering Physics, and the Director of Princeton's Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (EPPDyL). 


For additional effect, the based will be fitted with a 2in layer of high density foam that is swaddled in microsuede fabric, which has been refrigerated for 24 hours. I find that I often confuse the sensations of cold and wet. 

*Ideally, the basin structure would be equipped with a more dynamic sensor network so the subject's directional movements would trigger corresponding directional audio playback.