Pulse Pool Installation

April 2007

Supported by National Endowment for the Arts, mediaThe Foundation, Museum of Science Boston

For the first time, two cities — Boston and Oklahoma — are connected via the human pulse. From  April 29-29, during the Cambridge Science Festival and the Boston Cyberarts Festival, the Museum of Science, the Fred Jones Museum, and Turbulence.org present “Pulse Pool.”

Place a finger to your neck or wrist. Find your pulse. How does it alter your awareness of your body? Imagine if you could simultaneously see and experience another person’s pulse the way you feel your own. The interconnected components of the “Pulse Pool” project explore how access to otherwise unavailable corporeal information affects human interaction.

Wearable electronic units measure individuals’ heart rates and transmit this data to other participants through physical stimulation created by small, vibrating motors incorporated within the devices. This allows participants to feel the pulse of individuals who are in close proximity to them. Additionally, a visual representation of this information is created by droplets of water falling and making ripples in a pool. These droplets are synchronized with live pulse and relative location data that is collected using wireless communication and RFID positioning technology.

An internet connection and custom software allows real-time and archived transmissions of information about the localized “Pulse Pool” community to be shared with the global community on the World Wide Web. This makes it possible to create interaction between “Pulse Pool” communities in remote locations.

Curated by Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington