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 operating system.

sound-responsive lamps
by golan levin 1999-2000
code framework by ben fry