Archive for July, 2009


Monday, July 20th, 2009

virtualgravity at final exhibition

University of Applied Sciences Würzburg
24. - 25.07.2009

virtual gravity - my diploma project

Friday, July 17th, 2009


Virtual gravity is an interface between digital and analog world. With the aid of analog carriers, virtual terms can be taken up and transported from a loading screen to an analog scale. The importance and popularity of these terms (data base: Google Insights for Search), outputted as a virtual weight, can be weighed physically and compared. Therefore impalpable, digital data get an actual physical existence and become a sensually tangible experience.

virtual gravity - the physical weight of data from Sillenet on Vimeo.
Sound design:

The knowledge, that human beings also connect with a physical mass things like importance, power and influence allows the reverse that virtual things which are particularly asked and own a high popularity, would have to be heavier than others which attract less attention. Thereof results a virtual weight which can really affect the physical reality and becomes measurable and comparable.

The comparison of the weights of two virtual objects takes place over an intuitively useable analog instrument: a scale. Thereof arises an action space in which the user can make use of his experiences of handling with a conventional scale and play with virtual information.


The basic interaction is to weight and compare the virtual weight of information. The kind of  action reminds deeply of handling with a real beam scale. So the audience has the possibility to use his foreknowledge of everyday life, it knows what how to use a scale, how it reacts and how the relation between two weights is to be read and interpreted.

The information about the relation of the compared weights occurs exclusively by the physical behaviour of the scale. The output of numerical values is totally renounced. In this way the focus lies on the purely emotional information processing.


A special challenge represented the taking up, the transport and putting down of the virtual things; they are not tangible and always bound to a projection or a screen surface. At this point an analog tool is employed: the carrier of information. This carrier functions on the loading area like a seeker or a magnifying glass. When it is located on a term, this is selected and can be loaded. That is something the user induces, while he takes the carrier from the surface, in doing so the loaded term disappears at this point. If the carrier then is put onto the scale, the transported term appears there and is weighed.

The navigation through the whole application occurs simply by using a navigation wheel. It allows to change the mode, as well as to interact within each mode. This happens by simple rotating of the wheel.

News Tag Mode

In News Tag Mode, terms are provided, which are abstracted from the latest headlines of five news agencies (RSS Feeds) in realtime.  With the navigation wheel one agency can be selected.


Key Input Mode

The Key Input Mode gives the possibility, to give, to load and to weigh other terms, the user himself is interested in. Therefore he can scroll through a letter block, depending on position of the wheel faster or more slowly. If the user brings the wheel back into uppermost position, the movement is stopped and the selected letter can be loaded with the carrier. All loaded letters are collected in a “container word”. When the input is finished, the term can be taken up and then be weighed.

Timeline Mode

If the user has loaded one term, he gets the possibility to compare the weight of this term, which is always the latest one, with a weight from the past 3 weeks. With the navigation wheel the user can run through a timeline and take up the weight at a desired point of time and load it with the carrier. The loaded objects receive beside the name, in addition, the number of the days which have passed since this time.


Data sources

For inquiring of the virtual weight of things, data of the Internet service “Google Insights for Search” is used. These data is based on statistics which analyse the queries of the users. The real time data is provided by RSS-Feeds of news agencies like BBC, Google news, Yahoo news, NewYorkTimes and Digg.


Processing 1.0.1
Arduino 0012


The scale mechanics is based on a kind of pulley which is controlled by two Servos.



Virtual Gravity is coming soon…

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

virtual gravity is coming soon… from Sillenet on Vimeo.