Feel The Boid

Feel The Boid

The swarm

In our course 3-dimensional basics in media space we discussed the topic swarm behavior. After some research on the topic we had to create an application for multi touch table with fiducial and finger input. For implementation »Processing« , served us as programming environment.


Seperation: Avoid crowding neighbors
Alignment: Steer toward average heading of neighbors
Cohesion: Steer towards average position of neighbors

Our idea was to add new properties to the swarm.


The idea

These properties belong to the sound of music. We divide the music in three tone pitches: bass, middle and high. Therefore we have three kind of swarms. To visualize the differences between the swarms we decide to give them different speed and cohesion settings.

A bass tone is deep and heavy so the swarm moves slowly, high tones are agile and fast. 



The functions

The CD:

It starts the music if it is placed on the table.


Boids birth machine:

To add the boids (programmed swarm) to the multitouch surface we developed a Boids birth machine. Each screen contact/push of a button induces the creation of a random number of boids that aline to their swarm.


The transparent acrylic glass quad is the target for the boids. If the quad is on the table, every boid turns into a seeker, attracting addicted to his speed and cohesion setting. The advantage of acrylic glass is the fact that it is translucent and the color can shine through.

Color object:

With the colorobject you can change the hue of all boids. To separate the colors of the different swarms you can use your fingers. With the first finger you can change the color of the bass-boids, with the second finger the middle and with the third the hightone-boids.

Black hole:

The function of the black hole is similar to reality. By putting on the table it attracts all boids and deletes them.

Other possibilities
Due to limited time and the programming environment »Processing« we were not able to implement all of our ideas. One of them is the transformation with a control dial which changes the objects in different geometrical shapes. Another idea is to change the cohesion,
separation and alignment of the boids separately with one object. Further concepts included an adaption of the speed on the beats of our music as well as the possibility to control the swarms with fingertouch or gesture controling like the kinect system.