HeartWave Converts Your Pulse into Water Ripples

Arduino Craft & Design Science
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Engin Ayaz, Tak Cheung, and Doug Kanter created HeartWave, a tabletop device which uses water ripples to visualize the heartbeat of two people at once. The sides of the tank are equipped with Polar heart beat sensors, which actuate electromagnets to pulse a fin, generating each wave. According to Doug, “variations in liquid and lighting allow for a range of unique HeartWave experiences.” The box is constructed from a plexiglass frame with blue foam, black plastic, and is coated with Magic-Smooth polymer finish. Not only did the group create the great video above, but they also painstakingly documented the process of designing and building HeartWave. It’s definitely a slick project, but they’re not quite satisfied yet. On their wish list is enhanced lighting effects, coding refinements, and better interactivity cues for the user. No matter what, it’s a nice piece!


4 thoughts on “HeartWave Converts Your Pulse into Water Ripples

  1. Anonymous says:

    I came across a similar idea this past weekend at COSI in Columbus Ohio.  The user holds a bar that detects the pulse and it is converted to a signal that then beats a bass drum.  My kids really enjoyed it.

  2. Nick Russo says:

    Rafael Lozano-hemmer made a similar piece of work at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in London a couple years ago.


    But sadly/funnily the controlling PC was sitting in the corner of the room with a blue screen of death.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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