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Box of Wonder

Memoriascope

By

Sofia Ozambela

Location

Cornell University

Year

2023

My box of wonder project would be found on a bookshelf or coffee table in a home, where it acts as a decorative piece, and an interactive piece from time to time. Like a scrapbook, Memoriascope is a photo-viewing device to use when missing friends and family, or wanting to reminisce on past times. 

The outside of the box is engraved with a gem pattern, symbolizing precious memories, and the inside is lined with photographs. Within the box, a series of rotating mirrors and stationary mirrors provide a unique way to view the photos – as they spin and the color of the lights change, unique patterns and combinations are produced, remixing the photos inside like a kaleidoscope. The fast rotation of the mirrors offer a quick glimpse at photos, creating the sensation of flashing memories. Each side of the box has a viewing hole with a distance sensor above it. One view-hole is engraved with the image of a camera, representing memories in the present, and the other side is engraved with a polaroid picture frame, representing memories of the past.

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How it works...

When your face is close enough to the view-holes on either side (2 inches or less), the sensors above them trigger a servo motor controlling 3 plastic gears and an LED strip. Looking in each side produces a different light / servo rotation pattern. The box is covered in sparkly, reflective materials to refract the LED lights. The code for the LED patterns is sourced from the Adafruit library.

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