Tales of the Stone

by Fight back to school


“Tales of the Stone” is an interactive design that combines elements of traditional mythology with modern technology to build a reflective user experience. The design is inspired by the Chinese ancient practice of seeking guidance through signs, combining crafted physical setup and sensory interaction to invite users to explore their life choices and potential outcomes.

The design would combine 3 stones, 8 panels and a central altar. The panels are designed to symbolically represent water ripples, achieved visually through the light strips. This design enhances the aesthetic appeal and deepens the key attributes of water connection with reflection and fluidity.

The participants would begin their experience by holding the 3 stones and moving around each panel to observe and explore the multiple water ripples. This action mimics the contemplation and exploration of participants’ fate decisions. In this process, users may feel resistance since we put strong magnetic to repeal the divination stone. This action tends to simulate temptations or pitfalls that users may encounter in real life.

Additionally, the users are encouraged to put three stones on the panels that most resonate with their personal preferences or thoughts, after they check each panel’s reaction. Each panel would have a unique ripple representing the multiple directions of the user’s life, with their placement inspired by the ‘Bagua’ orientation map and Four Symbolic Creatures. This process simulates the user’s different choices or explorations in the real world can lead to various potential destinies.

Finally, the altar would give the fortune-telling slip depending on the chosen 3 panels. This action provides users with a moment of introspection since the slip serves as a metaphorical reflection of their choices. This encourages participants to consider their decisions and potential life paths, deepening their self-awareness.

Technical Description

- Users will use three divination stones to explore and sense the effects similar to water ripples, aiding the process of fortune discovery.

For this part of the technology, we mainly use hall sensors and light strips as the resources to realise the interaction. The hall sensor brings a more magical effect and feeling to the design which matches with the fortune-telling themes, allowing users to experience the mystery of the divination panel from a certain distance. The divination stones for user interaction are styled with embedded magnets, not only to directly trigger the hall sensors but also to mimic the appearance of real divination stones. To create ripple effects, we use several light strips to simulate water. When the divination stone triggers the hall sensor and detects the magnetic force, the light strip will display various designed patterns. There are a total of eight various design patterns, using different levels of blue as the primary colour to closely resemble water ripples: three are ‘soft dynamic’, three are ‘intense dynamic’, and two are ‘simple and calm colours’. In addition, to better simulate the appearance of water ripples, we covered the panel with a ‘decorative PVC film that resembles water patterns. The purpose of the design is to provide users the options to select distinct answers based on their current situation, while also enabling them to experience a more realistic observation of water ripples, much as a divination process in Chinese culture or Tarot card divination. Users will choose the water ripple feedback that represents their mood or situation as the answer to their fate, reflecting their current state of mind. Moreover, we also added several strong magnets inside the panel to provide some resistance and shaking when users explore the panel, which promotes a richer interactive experience. Users can reflect on their destiny by exploring the board through various sensing approaches and observing a range of rich feedback.

Magnet and Hall Sensor triggered lighting effects

- When the user places the three divination stones on the selected panels, the altar in the centre will print out a personalised answer for the user.

The hall sensor is set to trigger the printer to provide a final answer when it detects a certain level of magnetic force for a specific duration through Arduino. These answers are categorised as referring to the three main responses (soft dynamic, intense dynamic, and simple colour) to simulated ripple effects on the light strips, and use a connected printer to deliver a strip of paper. The printer is also designed to be housed within an altar made of stones.

Print Divination Slip

- Using 3D printing for the panel skeleton

We created unique frameworks for the panel’s support, designed to be hollow, to ensure consistency in the panel's appearance. This allows us to hide and conceal the sensors used inside, presenting a cleaner design. Moreover, as we require eight same panels, the advantage of using 3D printing ensures quality in appearance while enhancing the durability and stability of the design. It also provides for more effective integration of the light strips into the panel design.

- Magnetic levitation base

The magnetic levitation base would be applied as the stone’s visualizer, so that the stone could float in the air. This technology could enhance the magical experience.

Magnetic Levitation Base