Patchbay is a wireless framework and interface, built to facilitate improvisation and play with a network of connected instruments and toys.

I love tech because of the new toys and magical powers it makes possible for us to enjoy and play with. In 2014, I had been fascinated with the promises of interoperability and mesh networking when applied to playful objects. This thesis project was my answer to how I could improvise with the links between mine and my classmates’ projects.

It was built in the Spring of 2014 for my master’s thesis at ITP. The interface was made in HTML, so it can be easily ported to different platforms. The electronics were custom milled and assembled microcontrollers and radio combinations, and all the toys and instruments were either found objects or gifts given to me.

Here is a link to the Github repository, containing the App, and Arduino library, and PCB designs and hookup guide.

You can see my thesis presentation from 2014 in the video below:

And here is a 2 minute demonstration video:

I’ve also got a demo of the interface here. Click the fake touchpad to start, and you can rotate the circle, and make/break links.

Wireless Links I can Touch

INPUTS in the left circle, OUTPUTS in the right. Rotate the circles to explore the connections.

Hiding Network Complexity

Circles can display many devices, yet the interface focuses on just one at a time.

Click to start demo.