Students Use Raspberry Pis to Mix Virtual Cocktails in This Immersive Bar

If there is one thing that college students love, it’s drinking alcohol. That and learning, of course. Usually, however, imbibing negatively affects their grades. So how can college students turn their favorite after-class pastime into something that positively affects their grades? If you’re Aditi Vijay, Laurin Kraan, and Minatsu Homma from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID), you use Raspberry Pi boards to mix virtual cocktails.

This project, called Immersive Bar, is a sort of interactive game played in mixed reality. Virtual reality is when the entire world you’re experiencing is completely artificial. Augmented reality overlays some virtual element on top of the real world. Mixed reality can have parts of either of those, but also introduces changes in the real world. In this case, they’re using Raspberry Pis equipped with Sense HATs and a glass with an LED strip to create a game that invites players to try their hand at mixing virtual cocktails using unknown ingredients.

In total, there are three Raspberry Pi computers representing the ingredients. Each of those has its own Sense HAT, which has an accelerometer and an 8×8 RGB LED matrix. When the Raspberry Pi computers are tipped, the accelerometer registers that in order to “pour” the virtual ingredients into the glass. As the glass fills up, an LED strip indicates how full it is. After mixing different portions of the ingredients, a computer running Unity will quantify the resulting cocktail and rate it based on how tasty it would be. Players don’t know what the ingredients are, and have to deduce which ingredients work well together through trial an error. While we don’t recommend mixing unknown ingredients in your real world cocktails, this is a great use of mixed reality.

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Author: Cameron Coward

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