In 2014, Natalie Freed created an ocean-themed notebook that could receive real-time data to illustrate the position of the tides. Inspired by this work, and the ground-breaking contributions of Jie Qi and NEXMAP, I was catapulted into an exploration of circuitry and coding that led to my quest to create an internet connected story book. By merging traditional bookbinding techniques with electronics, I set out to transform an ordinary book into a smart object that can respond to real-time web data to help tell a story (see video above for details).
Although I ultimately figured out how to use data, such as a weather report or a light sensor reading, to trigger functions in my book, I ended up taking a different approach to increase the interactivity between my book and the reader. Instead of relying upon a report of new snow in my town to trigger an LED "blizzard" in my book (which worked well to a point), I ended up adding QR codes to my pages to give readers control over when the animations in my book would be triggered.
In this Instructable, I'll be taking you through a series of steps that you might use to add circuitry to your own hand-bound book, while providing practical tips for adding web interactivity to a paper circuit using a web request and a QR code. Then, once you understand the basics of how Particle functions work, you can customize your code and circuitry to tell your own story, as well as experimenting with other types of triggers, including real-time data. You might also consider adding individually addressable NeoPixels or a buzzer to your pages!
My target audience is artists and makers who already have experience with Coptic binding, paper circuitry, and programming with Arduino. I apologize in advance if I don't elaborate enough on these aspects of my project, in the interest of space and time.