A Watched Pot Never Boils

November 2008

software, electronics, computer vision, physical computing, curiosity collective

A playful realisation of the old proverb - a kettle that is aware of being watched and only boils when ignored.

All aspects of it are simulated: the sounds of boiling are synthesised and even the steam is cold! It is aware of observers using three cameras that watch for faces looking directly at it, using computer vision techniques.

The hardware of the Watched Pot is driven by an Arduino board, which is controlled by software written using OpenFrameworks, this controls the PD audio synthesis via the OSC protocol

The Watched Pot was a Curiosity Collective project with Tom Juby, John Bowers and Chris Reason - based on an idea from Jon Sutton. Exhibited at forewarned is forearmed (November 2008). the UK Maker Faire (March 2009) and The Proverbial Show (June 2009).