Ever wished you had a secret language that only you and another person understood? These droid masks make that dream come true! When one person speaks, the rest of the world hears sound effects in the style of the droids from Star Wars, but the companion helmet translates that back to English. In the video above, they can completely understand each other, even though it sounds like nonsense to us.
How this really works is pretty ingenious. There’s no translation going on at all. When you speak a throat mic picks it up and just broadcasts it to an earpiece in the other helmet, with the help of a Particle Photon. At the same time, it makes some random droid bloops and beeps and lights up some LEDs.
As it turns out, making the circuit was not the most difficult part. Actually, making the droid language turned out to be quite difficult, as Donald, the creator, shares on his blog :
When I started the project, I thought I would just get by with some ‘fake’ Droid sounds — I’ll generate some beep and boop tones and notes, probably a Markov Chain to guide some notes to others so that the “random” notes sound good and make acoustic sense. I was very wrong. I played with dual tones and sliding tones and junk but it was obviously hopeless. Beeps and Boops sound like nothing more than, well, beeps and boops. They sound nothing at all like a language, not even a fake one.
Its pretty clever and such a great effect. If you’re interested in making your own wearables with the particle photon, you should check out our kit: Getting Started In Wearables.