Cover Image for Jerrypic

jerrypic is a project about information visualization in our peripheral environment. A smart IoT device or upgrade that is designed to be part of our natural surrounding - to be almost invisible - in favour to be clear, self-explaining and detailed.

It's like the cloudy or clear sky in the painting in the hallway that could present the weather forecast of the day.

The project is more an idea that manifests in different Frickelein (the perfect German word for fail-and-repeat crafting). Here is a selection of results of these crafting sessions.

real sample jerrypics

weather flames

Weatherflames on Kindle

A jail broken kindle in a wooden frame is programmed to present an abstract weather forecast.

How it worked:

  • Similar weather situations produce similar artistic forms
  • a small text shows a picture title containing short description and min and max temperature
  • the information is refreshed only once a day


The abfahrtsgarten

The "Abfahrtsgarten" (German for "departure garden") shows the live-tracking of the bus stop arrivals and departures of a certain line in a specific direction. During my studies in Dresden it was the bus 63 towards the campus I took every day.

How it worked:

  • a small toy bus is moved along a short street path that is a sculpture of the bus stop "Rathaus Plauen" in Dresden

  • the position on the street and the distance to the bus stop shows the approx time of arrival

  • the granularity of the time information was reduced to "no bus there, no need to hurry", "a bus is coming, be prepared", "you should go now" to "run Forrest run"

    artistic music garden

    The artistic music garden

    This jerrypic is work in progress.

    It shows an abstract garden of plants which's variety and healthiness is an adoption of your taste of music and regular music consume.

If you use Spotify, it is possible to generate your own music garden.

  • visit the artistic music garden
  • login to Spotify
  • allow access to required data (only one time usage)
  • wait until picture will be generated

The motivation

An uprising topic in our fast modern life is digital awareness. Driven from the goal of smart apps to keep us on track (social, news, discussions, feeds, tweets) they are usually designed to stay in our focus. A couple of information is that important to be in our mind (like push notifications of work emails at work time). But most of the information that we consume have a mismatch in relevance and prominence on our screens (like push notifications of work emails at holidays).
With our digital awareness we start to discuss a healthy usage of our smart devices and to identify these less important attention seekers. Good measurements like a counter of smartphone pickups or the tracker of screen time demonstrate the need for a controlled consum of information.

jerrypic as picture frame

A jerrypic is the strategy to transfer some information of our daily routines to a separate IoT device with the three goals:

  • to reduce our dependency to usual smart devices or apps
  • to be designed to be enough most of the time and not overwhelming
  • to appear natural and for that it's digital poperties are invisible most of the time

Some other buzzwords, that represent the motivation of the project are digital detox, attention merchants and humane technologies.