CPSC 581/599.81
Interaction Design

Saul Greenberg (instructor)

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The Weather Phidget
by Martin Fuhrer

Phidgets, or physical widgets, are self-contained physical devices with a software API that allows them to be manipulated electronically. They represent an embodiment of ubiquitous computing, where users interact with objects in their environment to carry out computing tasks. This is a radical departure from today's idea of computing, where people are accustomed to carry out their work with a "computer" - the PC box, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

For this project I built a weather phidget which is a combined thermometer and hydrometer. The physical portion consists of a wooden stand with two spinning motors (servos) that move indicators up and down thermometer and hydrometer scales. The software component is run by the meter API that controls the motors.

I invite you to take a look at at my work:

  1. Visual Summary
  2. Documentation
  3. Download a zip file containing a Visual Basic 6.0 project group with the entire project
  4. Download the executable
  5. Download the Meter Phidget as a VB control

I would also like to acknowledge the following persons whose ideas and work I have incorporated into this project. This type of collaboration is indispensable in helping me to carry out my work:

Submitted on April 24, 2001