The Music Emission on Visual Vibrations, or MEOW for short, is the most recent project we have been working on and is the project we submitted for the 2017 World Maker Faire, together with the E-Plant and the MI-Pin.
(Top) Stephanie (left) and Elizabeth (right) playing the violin when presenting MEOW at the Kennedy Center during the annual Arts Summit, hosted by Yo-Yo Ma. (Bottom left and right) The E-Pin. (Bottom Center) The Peek-a-Plant.
MEOW is a project, combining music and technology, intended for those who are deaf or have lost their hearing. By recording the vibrations made from two violins and representing that data in the form of LED's, we have come up with a way to visually represent music for the enjoyment of our audience.
The First Prototype
This is one of the original versions of the MEOW project. Instead of showcasing the LED's in a box display, we had them strapped to this lab coat. It turned out to be more of an inconvenience and quite the bother to hardware.
Close up of the ends of the LED strips we are using.
The violin with the vibration sensors attached to the bridge of the instrument. At this point, we weren't wireless yet, so you can see how long the wires needed to be so that they wouldn't be a bother as we were playing. In the back is the violin bow with the gyroscope attached to its frog.
The Second Prototype
The violin no longer has all those long wires trailing from it since we are now using Bluetooth to send the data being collected from the vibration sensors on the violin to the main board.
Now all the lights are neatly placed inside this box display.
Showcasing MEOW at Maker Faires
Being able to participate in these Maker Faires, thanks to the KID Museum as we often paired with them to present our projects, has been such a wonderful and eye opening experience for the both of us. For one thing, we got to meet a ton of people who shared the same interests as us and where very thrilled and curious to see what we've been doing. For another, just the sheer amount of energy it took every time we showcased at a Maker Faire, was very surprising the first time we went to one!! It was usually sunny the days the Maker Faire was held, there were lots of people walking around, and since we had a project dealing with music, both of us had to consistently alternate between who was playing and who would be explaining the project to onlookers. By the end of the (usually) 8 hour day, we were hungry, thirsty, both of our throats were sore from talking and having to raise our voices just to be heard with all the people that were there, and all our fingers had calluses from playing the violin for so long! But you know what? It was all worth it because we got to meet some awesome people, we got to put our ideas out into the public and possibly touch people with our vision, and we had a fun time in general!
Elizabeth and Stephanie working with the KID Museum at the 2016 National Maker Faire in DC, MD while also showcasing MEOW Prototype 2.
Elizabeth and Stephanie at the 2015 Silver Spring Maker Faire, MD showcasing MEOW Prototype 1.
Our project, MEOW, won the Editor's Choice Award at the 2016 National Maker Faire
For more info on the MI-Pin: Toys Improvements we plan on making on the MI-Pin include reducing it's bulky size and weight, giving it more useful features such as including a system that can alert parents or teachers/chaperones at schools when their child/student wanders too far from the group, simplifying the mechanics of the moving parts of the pin, and designing more tops other than the butterfly to appeal to a broader audience.
Being able to be a part of this years World Maker Faire is such a wonderful opportunity for the both of us and we truly are so grateful to have been offered a spot to showcase. We are really looking forward to visiting New York again and to all of the projects that will be there, as well as all of the possible companies that will be there!
-Latest Updates in Prototypes-
- The MI-Pin now comprises of several sensory options, including a temperature sensor, distance sensor, parent tracking device, and speaker.
Being a part of this 2017 World Maker Faire (held in the New York Hall of Science) has honestly been such a grand experience for the both of us. Just the sheer amount of people who attended the event and came to see our booth was mind blowing, we couldn't have asked for anything more! We were able to meet so many amazing people and received a bountiful of good advice on how to improve our designs as well as being introduced to new technologies, techniques, and approaches!
Our booth at the Maker Faire!! To the left is MEOW, and to the right are the MI-Pin and the Peek-a-Plant. In the background, we used a trifold board as a makeshift projector screen to display our YouTube video and the 3D image of the bow that we had hooked a gyroscope to.
By the end of the second day, we were exhausted but extremely satisfied by the experience and outcome of this event. We were not expecting to receive so many awards from so many different judges for our MEOW project!
We would just like to say a final thank you to our parents who drove us all the way to New York and for their constant support everyday, a thank you for all the judges who believed we were worthy enough to receive a ribbon, and thank you to everyone who attended the World Maker Faire. We hope this Faire, as well as the Maker community, only continues to grow in abundance and we hope that we were able to inspire the people and the children who came to take a look at our booth to start/continue inventing! We hold a strong belief that every invention holds a valuable purpose to the benefit of humankind, from helping the deaf and hard of hearing, to simply putting a smile on someone's face :-) Never be afraid to create! Thank You!!!!!!
During our stay at the World's Maker Faire, we were also able to see many interesting, fun, and fascinating other projects. It amazed us to see the quantity of different makers that each provided an unique experience with each idea and project they presented.