Input Hardware

The game uses players' breath to control movement of the balloon. There was a significant amount of hardware knowledge used to realise this interface. The system consists of 6 rotary sensors, a microcontroller and a PC.

The 6 'blow sensors' are connected to the microcontroller, which interprets the input, calculates the speed, and sends the data in a readable format to the PC. The PC software running the game reads the data and moves the balloon accordingly.


The sensors are custom-built rotation switches, based on the rotation of a propeller blade. The switch sends its signals to the microcontroller.


A microcontroller is a small computer chip, which can be programmed to perform small tasks. It can read a variety of different types of inputs, and communicate with many different devices, including regular computers, via the serial port. This microcontroller, a BasicX-24 has been programmed to calculate the speed of rotation of the 6 sensors, and send that data to the PC, via the serial port


The computer, running Director, reads the signal from the serial port, with the SerialXtra. The force is then applied to the balloon in the game allowing the player to control the game by blowing. For more info, see the software section.


Circuit Diagram

Final Sensor

Sensor Connections Into Table

Sensor Connections Into Table

BasicX Chip

Box of Tricks,
Note the 6 adapted phono connectors.

Box of Tricks

The open box, with all the wiring revealed