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My first arduino program! It’s a repition for T.Igoe’s demo in class as well as this instructional video. My observations of an interactive technology are posted after that.

Talking to the MicroController - Program

The program is written in C language, its format is quite similar to p5.js. The difference is that p5 executes javascript on the browser where as with C we are telling the microcontroller to process commands on the arduino and breadboard.

  1. The first thing to do is tell the microcontroller which pin you are connecting it to the circuit. That’s in setup().

  2. Tell the microcontroller which digitalNode you’re plugged into and what you want it to do - in this case, send voltage (HIGH) to Pin 2.

  3. Put a 500 ms or half-second delay.

  4. Now you have to tell the microcontroller to switch the LED off too, digitalWrite(2,LOW) sends 0V to pin2.

  5. Not sure why there’s a 500 ms delay a second time. Have to figure that out.

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
// tell microcontroller which pin is output

pinMode(2, OUTPUT);


void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

digitalWrite(2, HIGH); //send 5V to the pin. 2 is the pin. 
delay(500);             //do nothing for half a second
digitalWrite(2, LOW); // send 0V to the pin
delay(500);           //do nothing again

Here’s a small clip of the bleeping LED.

Interactive Technology in public

There are Digital Information Kiosks (DIKs) in some NY subway platforms (usually two to a platform). I used one and watched others use it too. Fortunately I was able to observe it under special circumstances as well - trains were delayed and loudspeaker announcements inaudible. The experience was unfortunately frustrating for all passengers.

Use case

The kiosks are approximately 4x2 ft, placed at a medium persons height. They have a touch screen on both sides and adverts or MTA information messages as a screen saver. A tool bar at the bottom displays interactive options. Touching the screen anywhere enables those. I observed four people other than myself use it.

  1. Everybody I observed activated the DIKs and ended engagement in under 2 minutes.

  2. They were unable to find information on the delayed F train which was supposed to arrive on that platform.

  3. They were unable to corroborate information announced in loud speakers with that on the screen.

  4. The train information on screen was not specific to trains running on the platform it was placed on.

  5. The “journey planner” was a key feature of these DIKs. However, it was only used by one person. It was perhaps redundant as most passengers already had their journeys planned by the time they reached the platform.

  6. The DIKs did not seem to be location aware. Apart from the wrong train information, they could have better neighbourhood or exit information.

  7. The DIKs didn’t have a speaker which could repeat passenger announcements. They offer closeness that current platform speakers didnt.

  8. Perhaps a 2-way communication is possible (not just for emergencies, but transactions e.g MTA card top-ups or other purchases for example via ads)

  9. Other possibilities for interaction are doubling up as a vending machine or tissue dispenser.