See Like A Bee

Cover Photo
Cover Photo

My own foray into “wearables”. This unusual project came out of the experimental Media Lab class called Silicon Menagerie. In this class, we explored ways to augment human senses to simulate the kind of experience that non-human animals have. We looked at lots of different animals, including Angler Fish, Bats, Ants, and Sharks, all of which have the ability to perceive stimuli that humans cannot.

For inspiration, my group looked to the Honey Bee. Honey Bees have a fascinating array of sensory apparati. They have 5 eyes, they communicate through dance, they operate as a hive mind, and they have a very precise perception of time that enables them to use the position of the sun as a dependable reference point as it moves across the sky.

My group built a sensor network and heads-up-display mounted in a stylish wearable package inspired by the ulra-violet vision of bees.

Steel cable makes up the enclosure. 3D printed parts hold everything together

Early Build
Early Build

We used an iPod touch for the display, and an Arduino Mega for communicating with the sensors

Simulated Bee Vision
Simulated Bee Vision


I’m launching Pioneer (github).

  • Full stack blogging application built with Meteor
  • Written entirely in CoffeeScript
  • Designed for simplicity, maintainability, and performance

This site, is built using Pioneer.

Edit: Pioneer has been deprecated. This Blog is now a static page built with


For an optimist, not knowing what will happen next is the most exciting and wonderful feeling. “I just might record a #1 hit with my Indie Rock Revival Accordion String Band”. Then it takes courage to separate what could happen next from what is likely to happen next. Doing so means admitting “No, I probably won’t become a Rock Star bigger than The Beatles, and even worse, I’m probably not even going to win the lottery.” This realization might turn an optimist into a pessimist.

However, we mustn't let trifles stand in our way, and we certainly do not wish to be pessimists! So let us make accordion music not because we want fame or recognition, but because by doing so we find and share joy. Ah ha! Not feeling so pessimistic anymore!

...but I liked that feeling of wondering what will happen next, fantasizing about the good and fearing the bad. Now that I think about it, letting my mind wander through the possibilities inspired me to prepare for the hard times as much as it excited me for the good times. Excellent. I will continue to wonder optimistically about the future. My curiosity will inspire the motivation to find and love the good times and to weather the bad. I may bicycle across Alaska! I may share my wonder with my friends and family through art and music. I may adopt or father children and send this wonder to the next generation. I may wonder wonderful things as long as I live, for best of all: I may always wonder what will happen when I die. Brilliant! Optimism restored!

Wondering is exciting, and one of my favorite ways of wondering is wandering. In the city or the wilderness, I never know what is around the next corner. When I find out, there is always another corner not far ahead.

Inspired by my love for wandering, I am developing an iPhone game about exploration. The development process was wondrous itself: I started with only the minimalist (but open source) MOAI Mobile Framework, so I had to code nearly everything myself. I also made difficult decisions about structuring the code base (I am more familiar with the full featured game framework, Unity 3D, where most complex organizational decisions are already made). I am especially proud of the 2D lighting and shadows engine I coded in C++.

Darth Fader

Darth Fader was completed in a 24 hour period for Music Hack Day Boston in 2012 at MIT.

A Microsoft Kinect Measures your 3-D movements with a "Lightsaber", and modulates the playback of a music video using Paulstretch for the audio and playback rate for the video. It overlays your silhouette onto the video.

The challenge was keeping the audio and video synchronized even though they are being manipulated with very different algorithms.

In the video, I am performing Darth Vader with Ellie Goulding's music video for her song "Lights."

Procedurally Generated Kinetic Typography

I coded this Kinetic Typography tech demo in C# with Unity 3D. My software takes takes two files as input:

  • An audio file
  • A text file with lyrics and timing information

Synchronized 3D text is then arranged, animated and rendered in real time.