In the Winter of 1999-2000 I collaborated with my colleague Ben
Fry on the design of a series of sound-responsive lamps. These
reactive computer displays were projected up the sides of the
walls of our building's atrium during the reception of a laboratory-wide
Consortium event. Small microphones on stalks conducted sound
into the laptop computers running the displays, such that the
lamps would change their forms and colors in response to the sounds
of the room and any nearby visitors.
Ben wrote the Java framework for the lamps, which integrated the
JavaSound API with a small graphics engine and some standard FFT
code. In the end, our lamps, which numbered about ten or so, responded
to changes in sound frequency spectra as well as volume.
If you are interested you are welcome to
download the Java lamp applications, which work in the Windows