Chroma is SigViz's 2011-2012 project. SigViz was started as an offshoot of SigMusic, focused on the visualization of digital data, not just music. Chroma has gone through several iterations since it's inception in Fall of 2011.

The initial work for Chroma was made at Yahoo Hack-U 2011 at UIUC. We assembled 6 Macetech Sattelite Modules with an Octobar, and wrote a python library to control it. A defining feature of our prototype was a unique paper lamp that we placed over the lights. Our final submission included a music visualizer written in PureData, weather animations in Python, as well as a twitter color analyzer, and clock. Chroma recieved first place in the competition.

The followup work for Chroma was to complement SigMusic's TwitterMusic. We purchased an additional 16 lights, as well as 2 extra Octobars, and installed them in a classroom for Engineering Open House 2012, hanging the lights and lamps from the ceiling. A OSC/UDP server was written to allow various projects in the room to communicate with the lights.

After EOH 2012, Chroma was installed semi-permanently in the ACM's front office. An API was written to allow programmers to write animations, test them in an emulator, and send pull requests to the master git repository to submit their code. A webserver was then written to control the lights. The OSC/UDP server was further refined, allowing smooth transitions between animations, and detecting timeouts in the data streams to power down when appropriate.

Chroma explores the use of overhanging lamps to convey real-time information. The nature of indoor lighting is typically monotonous, and always ubiquitous, giving animators a difficult role: Visualize, but don't overwhelm. Chroma is an ongoing project, and further progress will be posted.

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