X-Track – Wireless music visualization and tracker

X-Track is a prototype wireless device which connects you to the music, by providing entertainment with its bright beat-synched LEDs and tracking your moves so that you can later learn how much you enjoyed the night, and which parts were especially moving you.


Remote wireless visualizations fully synced to the beat:
* Supporting dynamic control of song playback.
** You can adjust tempo and the visual will always be on the correct beat, and you can even scratch !!
* DJ software automatically analyses song bpm (beats per minute), aligns the beats with the song, and send the high-resolution beat phase messages to external control application.
* The external application on PC broadcasts beat time information to all gadgets in the scene.

Live crowd tracking:
*  By making use of the additional sensors (accelerometer), each gadget sends crowd information back to the main PC for logging and any other purposes.

Small form-factor:
* The gadget prototype comes in a small package (11x9x3cm). Great for hand-held interaction or wearing around your neck. Future makes can come in smaller form factors to have a less constraint on your fun.

Support for multiple remote gadgets:
* You can have a a high number of synced displays in a single room, and you can gather sensor data from all (the number of devices is limited by the bandwidth of radio communication. Each device sends sensor readings back to the main computer. The practical limit for efficient data acquisition is not yet studied.)

This instructable was made as part of the final project requirement in the CS graduate course “Tangible Interactive Computing” at the University of Maryland, College Park taught by Professor Jon Froehlich. The course focused on exploring the materiality of interactive computing and, in the words of Hiroshii Ishii, sought to “seamlessly couple the dual worlds of bits and atoms.” Please see http://cmsc838f-f12.wikispaces.com/ for more details.

Step 1: Hardware & Wiring Info

X-Track circuit

Arduino FIO
* http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardFio
* https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10116 ($25)
Microcontroller: ATmega328P
Clock Speed: 8 MHz
Operating Voltage: 3.3V
Input Voltage: 3.35 -12 V
* Includes an Xbee socket already (saves $10)
* Polymer Lithium Ion Batteries from sparkfun provide 3.3V, no step-up component (3.7 to 5V) needed (saves $6)
*  Includes battery charger using USB port (saves 10-15$)
You’ll need a 3.v to 5.v stepper for the display (costs 5$)
No direct programming interface available. You need to use FTDI cables/breakout boards.
The longest dimension is slightly bigger than the LED matrix

LED Matrix – Serial Interface – Red/Green/Blue (The Visuals)
* https://www.sparkfun.com/products/760 ($59.95)
* Communicates through SPI serial input protocol
* Runs on 5V (if you don’t raise up the voltage from 3.3 to 5V, you get very pale colors, and an unstable refresh rate)
* Current: 120mA (typical) 275mA (max)
* Dimension: 2.38×2.38″x0.78”
Wiring: (Using SPI Interface)
* VCC(5V)<->5V
* MOSI<->PIN11
* CS<->PIN10
* SCLK<->PIN13

Triple Axis Accelerometer Breakout – ADXL335
* https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9269
* “Low noise and power consumption (320uA)”
* Sensing range: +/-3g.
* Power in between 1.8-3.6V
* Bandwidth: 50Hz
* 5V/GND : as usual
* X<->Analog Pin 0, Y<->Analog Pin 1, Z<->Analog Pin 2


Fo more detail:  X-Track – Wireless music visualization and tracker

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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