I was laying in bed one morning when I thought to myself, “I could really use a pussy whisperer right now.”
Soon after, the words dissolved from abstract meaning into disassociated literal imagery: “pussy. whisperer.” -I leaped out of bed and ran into the lab to fetch a pair of calipers. I measured my pelvic bone, opened a fresh document in CAD and started modeling an actual box that ergonomically fit between my legs. It would house a speaker aimed directly at my lady parts… and do precisely that, the pussy whispering.
It came to be known in the days to come as the BEAT BOX! -and would become the first wearable I’d develop as part of the SHEBON project! 🙂
The augment reads the wearer’s heart rate and then outputs an audible whisper into the pelvic bone at a volume relating to their beats per minute (BPM). The byproduct of the whispering is a subtle vibration that only the user is aware of until the whispering intensifies to the point that it becomes audible to others near by.
The first version of this wearable’s enclosure looked somewhat like a fillet of fish, so I embraced its coincidental visual metaphor and integrated the idea into other aspects of the design…
ELECTRONICS : “FILLET-O” BOARD + SENSORS
Since the spirit animal of the Beat Box became the salmon, I decided that the PCB running the show aught to carry this visual theme. It was a toss-up whether I design the board to look like a strip of nigiri sushi, or a cross-section:
In the end the cross-section won for practical reasons:
…After I decided on the design and function, I took to drunk routing the board in EAGLE CAD one evening in April while Mark offered beer-tainted guidance:
I dubbed the brain the “Fillet-o”! Here it is completed in all of its delicious glory (I hope you’re craving sushi now):
The Fillet-o has pins allocated for specific functions. There are male headers for:
- a microSD card reader (on back)
- 3 separate strands of RGB LED
- a basic pulse sensor
- a mono speaker
THE “CROTCH SALMON” ENCLOSURE
When it came to the actual design of the object itself, my mind’s eye saw something that was reminiscent of the rectangular elongated pelvic structures you see on the Gundam mechs. Instead of protruding outward in a very phallic way, I wanted the enclosure to conform to the natural curve of my female body as it slopes inward between my legs. (like a robot-maxi-pad!)
In FUSION, I first traced the general contour that would sit flush with my skin. Then I created a “cavity” that followed that curve:
This shape became the cross-section outline of my frame.
The enclosure consists of several layers of this shape sandwiched together with long pins. The thinner 3D printed cross-section pieces bracket strips of semi-transparent plastic between them. The transparent plastic material acts as a light diffuser for LEDs mounted along the inside:
The silver color looks to me like the shiny scales on fish skin =P So I chose to continue with the theme throughout this module’s design:
Originally, I sketched a set of “wings” that mounted onto the blunt sides of the box. I thought this might make the enclosure look more like a pelvis, or robotic pair of panties…
The print for each of these wings ended up taking a solid night each. They had their own aesthetic once fixed to the base housing:
(note the webbing I placed behind the light defuser to create a “fiber glass effect”)
View of the back side lit with LED strip:
In the end, the pantie wings didn’t create the look I was going for. The bulky shapes detracted from the clean design of the main housing a bit too much (also, sorta made the enclosure resemble a fin or mermaid tail).
As a plan B, I figured, why not just go DEEP SALMON? I designed a set of simple end pieces, like grates, that resembled the fat marbling of raw salmon flesh:
I cut a piece of red transparent vinyl to lay beneath each white grate. Combined with the silver “salmon skin” front, this completed the overall aesthetic:
Sadly, I came to learn very quickly that this “box” enclosure, however pretty, wasn’t an ideal shape in close proxy to the thigh meat it would be coming in contact with… MEAT CLASH!!
I also didn’t account for where several of the active electronic components would mount, so it was necessary that I design a second version of the enclosure… this is a wearable after all. It must be… wear able…
BEAT BOX ENCLOSURE V. 2
The second revision of the salmon enclosure is slightly slimmer, to fit between the thighs with a bit more ease:
There is a slot for the LED strip to mount along both flanks of the inside, and a mounting point for the Fillet-o board, which places it front and center:
Fillet-o up in front!
…and of course, there is a mounting bracket to hold the small mono speaker at an angle pointing into the receiving area:
Similarly, it pins together from the left and right sides.
THE VOICE OF THE SALMON
The point of having any volume at all is that the sound waves produce a vibration. Whispering suggests that the volume be low and subtle enough that the vibration produced may be felt only by someone in the immediate vicinity of the thing producing the sound.
“whispering” also implies there will be a voice uttering actual words. BUT What voice? What words???
I imagined my friends coming over, and after a few drinks, speaking complete nonsense into a microphone for a while… like a drunken monologue/stream of consciousness sort of thing. Whatever they whispered wouldn’t necessarily need to be seductive in nature, or sexual even. In my heart I was channeling weird one-sided conversation the likes of this:
Last summer, while I was filming the build updates for noodle’s behavior appendages, I started stealing my closest friends away after a few beers and recording their improvised infomercials and show bumpers. The results were pretty great, so I was hoping to coax the same sort of situation again for the “pillow talk”.
As of yet, this hasn’t happened (though I might still try later this summer), so in the mean time I resorted to using the good old text to speech that comes with my Mac. It’s a thing of nightmares.
I spent a good minute finding the correct creepy content…. Victorian erotica… then copied and pasted some of it into a word processing document to be read by the “Alex” voice. You can see the module in action at the end of this stream once I assemble the whole salmon enclosure and upload the test file to the microSD card reader:
MOUNTING TO PANTIES
In the weeks to come, I might make some crazy harness that attaches this enclosure to the desired area of the body. For now however, I plan to stitch the box directly to a basic pair of panties. Done and done. Once I revisit the design one more time and produce a version. 3- I will surely slip into my creation and model it for you. Until then, enjoy the serenade of the salmon: