Today’s feature on hackaday is a set of goggles you can wear that induce visual hallucinations. Designed by Everett over at We Alone on Earth, the goggles are based on a pair of swimming goggles from the local discount store. They are fitted with ping pong balls that have been cut apart and glued back together with an RGB LED inside. An Arduino rounds out the package, driving the LEDs in response to pushbuttons.
The ping pong balls are used to diffuse the light from the LED so it uniformly fills the field of vision. The Arduino flashes the LEDs in different colors and at different rates (8-12 Hz seems to be the typical frequency range), being controlled by a set of pushbuttons. In a later article other (simpler to construct) diffusers are tried out, one successful attempt being to partly fill the goggles with epoxy that has salt mixed in with it. The Arduino code is extensively commented, unfortunately it’s in a really tiny font on the blog, and I started to experience visual hallucinations myself just trying to read it.
Visual hallucinations caused by flickering lights are a well known phenomenon (the article contains links to a few journal articles). Examples reported include images of the veins in the retina, geometric patterns, and more complex hallucinations such as animal or other figures:
‘Lights like comets dangled before me, slow at first and then gaining a fury of speed and change, whirling colour into colour, angle into angle. They were all pure ultra unearthly colours, mental colours, not deep visual ones. There was no glow in them but only activity and revolution’
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.