Markenfilm Crossing came to us with an idea for an advertisement regarding the release of the Smart fortwo convertible in 2016. To approach the issue of the new Smart being “open” in a wonderfully quirky way, the idea was to ask people preferably unsettling questions to put their „openness“ to the test. Being “open” was rewarded generously.
The task for Makery was to build a polygraph machine, which was tracking sensory data from the test person to evaluate whether he or she is telling the truth or not, while asking questions and automatically displaying the results. Sensory data, connected devices, web technology, little cars, a trip to South Africa and a dead tight timeline – that sounded like a job we might enjoy.
The housing was made from fully CNC milled aluminum sheet metal which was partly black anodized. Behind a cut-out in the front panel we mounted a high-res AMOLED 8″ display. For the antenna and the polygraph we made a custom wire harness. The front-end control was based on WebSockets to synchronize it with the display of the sensory data and the questions. We tailored a native android app for data logging and the graph animations. We sampled the test person’s heart rate, muscle contraction, skin resistance and respiration around 1000 times per second. The time to develop all of this was around 3 weeks.
Note to ourselves
Do not underestimate the importance of planning (be visual, create diagrams, keep them updated) and always have your basic hardware components in stock.