PROJECT Custom Hardware and Software Build + Installation
ROLE Project Lead / Tech Director, Product Designer & Fabricator
TOOLS Arduino, Three.js, Node.js
YEAR 2018

Aura is a machine that visually depicts the energy it captures through the palm of your hand. A custom sensor feeds the electric current from your palm to the camera, resulting in a colorful photo of you and your aura.

The resulting matte 3x5’ photo is a prompt for reflection. Each color in the aura corresponds to a quality, and is to be read clockwise from the bottom left, through the past, present and future.

The project is a nod to traditional aura photography, which uses a person’s capacitive electricity to alter photo development.

I initially conceived of this build as a dual physical computing/web development intensive for Havas’ intern program, and directed a team of five creative tech interns through the prototyping stages of designing the UX flow, developing a three.js scene, fabricating and programming a sensor, and connecting it to the scene. I then directed a team of Havas’ own full-time developers and designers through finalizing the product.

An alternative version of this project uses the IBM Watson AI and Watson Personality Insights to scan the user’s Instagram for cues to determine personality traits. Ultimately, however, we wanted to keep the machine based on the body’s input, which we determined is a part of what makes the interaction feel special.

Serena Parr | Project Lead, Tech Director, Product Designer & Fabricator
Adam Copeland | Producer
Joseph Delhommer & Nicolas Elliott | Creative Directors
Melissa Deoliveira | Art Director
Steve Cohrs | Lead Developer
Joohyun Park | Developer
Yuhao Ko | Developer & Fabricator
Tuba Ozkan | Product UX, Developer & Fabricator
Lynn Hwirin Park | Animator