A project by Xinyao Mao and Leonhard Mertl


What is it?

You’ve surely been walking alone somewhere in the dark, right? Whether it’s outside on a country road, in the cellar or even in your living room at midnight when you grope for the way to the toilet. If you might ever want to be accompanied by someone else, in such a case, our tiny lamp is a walking lamp that lights your way and is there for you as a good listener to your songs and words. It’s a lamp that comes to you, instead of you scrabbling about. It’s your dear fellow that understands your voice and reacts to your hand gestures.

We call it the Light Mouse.


How does it work?

Put the glove on and walk anywhere you like. Meanwhile you sing a deep tone then it’ll follow you. You could bend your wrist to navigate left or right. Once you stop and it runs too far away, you could call it back with a sharp tone. Sing any song you like, just don’t forget to make the tones whether deep or sharp. The Light Mouse can distinguish clearly between low and high voice. We’ve used the open source programming language and integrated development environment “Processing” to separate frequencies of the human voice, so that it could tell the difference between “do, ri, mi, fa, so, la, xi”. So that’s how it works. Without any userguide, you use it intuitively. We’ve implemented the body of the Light Mouse using a radio-controlled car, so that it gets a signal without cable in between.


Values and Potentials.

We’re trying to make our daily equipment as lively as possible. We hope that it serves as a friend more than just a cold machine. As a youth, it dances when you sing. As a grownup, it runs with you. Even when you’re old, it goes together with you to find your glasses or keys. If you’re a girl, you’ll find courage to walk in the dark. If you’re a man, you’ll find it useful to look into each corner of your garage.


Next Steps.

We started at the beginning thinking what kind of things will a person probably do in the dark, especially when someone’s afraid of darkness. People sing songs to get courage and touch with their hands to feel the direction. So we came up with the idea of combining these two common actions. We’re now thinking of using just voices so that the movement could be more natural and vivid. Another question is, how it moves properly? We were hacking a radio-controlled car for the moment because we just got few days, but if time permits, we would surely optimize that. One might imagine a flying Light Mouse, similar to a flying drone. A guard in the dark. A helper at unknown places.