Arduino Computers & Mobile


My friend Thomas Edwards has added another component to his Phy2Phy project series, his mission to link one physical locale to another over the Internet. His first component was Touch-over-IP. His latest creation is Breath-over-IP.

To communicate breath over the net, he used an Arduino, a SparkFun Protoshield, an AdaFruit Xport shield, and a Lantronix Xport Direct for the control and communications modules. For the fans, he used Kestrel anemometer impellers housed in FastSteel. The breath sensor is composed of a side-looking NTE 3029B IR LED and a NTE 3034A IR Phototransistor detector. For the package on “the other side,” which he plans to send “all over the planet,” he mounted the impeller and IR LED/phototransistor sensor inside a piece of PVC pipe and JB Welded the pipe on top of the fan. The pipe is long enough so that the wind from the fan doesn’t make the impeller spin.

At the September 2007 Dorkbot DC, we tested Thomas’ Touch-over-IP, with our group in DC and Thomas on the West Coast. It was amazingly… touchy. It really did feel like you were having a physical interaction with someone thousands of miles away, on the other end of the wire. Very cool. I wonder if Breath-over-IP is similarly effective.

The Phy2Phy Project site

12 thoughts on “Breath-over-IP

  1. Ahremsee says:

    Excellent mash up of the physical environment and digital comms but what we will we have next, Rube-Goldberg over IP.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s missing one key element: garlic. Awesome idea, though.

  3. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Thomas’ next assignment: Garlic-over-IP

  4. Son of the Wind says:

    I will get the trademark for: Blow-over-IP ©


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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