The release of Google Cardboard in 2014 launched a movement of using inexpensive materials to create modules that complement existing, commonly available devices such as smartphones, to create revolutionary experiences for users. Thus, in the same vein, we decided to bring retro to the new age using up-cycled materials found in everyday life and an Android phone. This new jukebox will change the way you listen to and interact with music on your phone.

What it does

There are two main components of this project: (1) the interpretation of human interaction via computer vision, and (2) visualization of the selected tunes. We use the front camera of a Nexus 5 phone to determine whether the user is turning the knobs (aka cups) by looking at the movement of markers drawn on the cup. The volume is then adjusted accordingly. The music is also represented visually through a disco ball. The disco ball uses the phone's screen as a light source and thus has the potential to show different patterns and colors.

How we built it

We used a cardboard box as the frame of the project. A Styrofoam cup was used as the volume knob, with a smartphone tracking markers along the cup's rim. The phone also serves as the source of music.

A disco ball also hangs from the top of the jukebox. It was made out of aluminum foil taped to a ping pong ball, and the glow of the phone's screen from below is enough to light the ball up.

Challenges we ran into

Lack of materials

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Building a cohesive product with both input (volume knob) and output (lit disco ball, music) channels.

What we learned

  • The challenge of lacking materials can make even seemingly simple ideas very difficult.
  • Smartphones can be incredibly powerful in both sensing and actuation.

What's next for CardBox JukeBoard

  • Finding ways to amplify the phone's speakers using passive elements.
  • Finding ways to concentrate the phone's screen light to make the disco ball even brighter.
  • Making it easier to assemble and releasing it to the community.

Built With

  • aluminum-foil
  • android
  • cardboard
  • cups
  • disco
  • jukebox
  • tape
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