Project harden, 2016
I developed a VR haptic feedback platform for Adidas for the launch of James Hardens' new sneaker. The installation was toured at pop-up galleries and retail locations across the US. Visitors got to experience what it was like to be with James Harden on the court while he played basketball. Computer-controlled tactile transducers and fans enhanced the experience by letting visitors feel the rumble in the floor as he dribbled, jumped and whooshed by you in a 360 degree environment.
An Arduino Uno and PWM controls two fans located to the right and left of the user and waveforms generated in Max/MSP are sent to tactile transducers hidden underneath the platform. At specific keyframes during the experience, the fans would blow at a specified length and intensity and the transducer would vibrate, mimicking the tactile experience one would feel if Harden was playing ball next to you. A wireless LAN network was set up so that the VR headsets could communicate with the host computer wirelessly.
Max MSP was used to send custom waveforms to the transducer and smooth the PWM signals to control the fans so they felt more natural and realistic. Another benefit of using Max was the ability to use probability functions to control the flickering effects of the LED lights installed in the experience to mimic a fluorescent bulb that was beginning to burn out.