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How can users connect better with big data?

 Luto is a case study in a concept I have been developing called Data Materialization. Rather than using visuals to appeal to a persons background or intellect, it taps into a person’s empathy and appeals more to emotion in an attempt to more viscerally express the impact of the data. In Luto’s case, he acts as a metric for air quality. The worse it is, the sicker he gets, simple as that.

He is the result of creative coding and physical computing.

He is programmed in Processing and fed data through serial communication with a FC-22 sensor attached to an Arduino Nano. The FC-22 Air quality sensor gives the Arduino an analog value to illustrate the amount of impurities are in the air that is then placed into the processing sketch which interprets that data as a “distortion factor” which in turn establishes the color and the instability of his form on the screen.

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how does he look in the real world?

Currently he looks pretty much like a box. He just barely pushes on being handheld, and is pretty awkward.

But that really isn’t practical. He is supposed to be a companion for those who need him or just care about the quality of the air around him.

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In Reality He would look a lot more like this.

He would be mobile, and easily attached to a backpack or a belt loop. By having him live on a carabiner, he can go everywhere you can, breathe the same air you do, and give you the reassurance that you’re where you belong, or the knowledge to begin changing it.

Aside from just a single companion, I imagine a whole population of Luto, floating around the world; living, dying and migrating to keep up with the air around the world. Maybe in some areas, there are mutations, or extinctions of whole subspecies, or blooms where people decided enough was enough.