Summer interns at the Open University's computer science department created this interactive punching bag, then figured out how to play Ode to Joy on it:
The ‘interactive punching bag’ is a conventional punching bag that has been enhanced to provide various forms of stimulus and feedback (such as sound, lights, and displayed images or information). The physical characteristics of each punch are captured using impact sensors and accelerometers, and fed to Arduino processors. The device is programmable, and LEDs, speakers and an (optional) associated display can be used to provide different configurations of stimuli and feedback, and to log interactions over time. The bag was devised as a means of investigating interaction design in the context of a fun, physical, familiar object. It will be used to study the impact of different forms of stimulus and feedback on users, and the impact of interaction design on user experience over time. We are especially interested in the impact of different interactions on motivation and stress management.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.