Fortune Teller

Explanation:

This project is a modern day satire on humans obsession with wanting to know the future. We are drawn to horoscopes, crystal balls, and psychics all to find out clues about our future selves and relationships. Many people have general anxiety about the future and seek direction from outside sources to ease the pressure and help them make decisions. This project will act as a fortune teller where users can ask a question and the device will respond with an answer. While the user is asking the question it is likely that they have already made up in their mind which answer they hope will be displayed. In this sense, the fortune teller can ideally encourage a bit of self understanding.

I am inspired by the idea of the magic 8 ball, a toy I used to play with when I was younger. The magic 8 ball was advertised as a fortune teller where you ask it a question, shake the ball and then the dice inside the ball would display a random response in the window. The seemingly arbitrariness of a fortune teller translates well to binary logics. In this case, the users will be instructed to press a button down while they ask the question and the output will depend solely on how many seconds the button was pressed for. I am providing audience users with answers to their questions based on an input that is irrelevant to their question but still a conscious decision. This project would be sited in a public setting and the experience is meant to be playful while the audience tries to figure out how the responses to their questions have been evidently randomized.

Logic:

If the user held down the button for an even number of seconds, then the device will light up green LEDs and send power to a speaker to play the sound “Yes.” If the user held down the button for an odd number of seconds, then the device will light up red LEDs and send power to a speaker to play the sound “No.” If the user held down the button for longer than 8 seconds, then the device will light up red LEDs and send power to a speaker to play the sound “Concentrate and try again.” The device will use a timing mechanism to identify exactly how long the button was depressed which will feed into an arduino to power the LEDs and speaker.

Word Equation:

If E AND NOT L –> Y

If NOT (E NOR L) –> N

If L –> TA

Logic Diagram:

Truth Table:

Materials:

• timer (ideate)
• mirrored acrylic (ideate)
• button (ideate)
• speaker (ideate)
• color changing LEDs (ideate)
• wiring and power (ideate)
• arduino (ideate)

Design:

The main part of the device will be a box made out of mirrored acrylic so that the inside of the box might have the effect of an infinite mirror. The button will be at the center on the inside of the box so that the users have to reach into the mirrors to ask their question further emphasizing the magical aspect of fortune telling. I plan to line the inside edges of the box with LEDs so that the mirrors will reflect and light up the whole box with an answer to the question.

Sketches: