This piece of interactive furniture was created for my physical computing class in grad school. Using Arduino sensors and actuators, along with code that we built from scratch, my team made this fun and interactive ottoman.
We were interested in further exploring the situation where a piece of furniture acts differently with different groups of people, but has a special connection to the owner which only shows up when they are home alone.
The ottoman contains lights which shine when only one person is in the room. The design included a digital people counter which would keep track of the number of people in the room and when the number was one, the ottoman would "reveal its true nature" and the rest of the time it would be a simple footrest.
Much of the initial focus of the physical computing class was teaching us how to understand circuitry with the goal of creating our own product from scratch. My partner and I are both visual people, so it helped for us to sketch our ideas, and below is our process of thinking about and planning the ottoman. As you can see, the sketches get more detailed (and also more accurate) as we began to fully understand the science behind electronics.