[English / Japanese]

Last Update: 2010/01/27


We propose a novel ball-type input/output (I/O) device—the ChameleonBall—that allows users to interact with colors in the real world. The ChameleonBall mainly consists of multiple color I/O units in an acrylic ball. It can detect the colors of objects in the real world and emit similar colors. We have developed a prototype system and a few applications using this device.

Figure 1@Photograph of the ChameleonBall (Demo videos are here! )

System Architecture

The ChameleonBall mainly consists of multiple color I/O units, a main board, a lithium ion battery, and expansion modules (figure 2). Each color I/O unit consists of input devices—a color sensor, an infrared reflection sensor and a white LED—for detecting the color of an object that has been touched, and output devices—full-color LEDs—for displaying colors. The main board consists of a microcomputer and circuits to control the above devices. In addition, in order to increase the applicability of this device, we attached a Bluetooth module (BestTechnology BlueStick) and a wireless 3-axis acceleration sensor (WirelessTechnology wireless-T).

Figure 2. System Architecture


We have developed an application that is installed on a host computer to control the illumination of a room on the basis of the color information received from the ChameleonBall.The ChameleonBall is also capable of gesture recognition; this is realized by using an acceleration sensor. We have already developed some applications, as mentioned below.

  • After inputting several colors to the ball, a user can mix these colors by “shaking” the ball
  • When a preferred color has been created, the user can illuminate a room with a color similar to that of the ball by “throwing and catching” the ball.
Figure 3@Applications. (Left: Controlling the illumination of a room, Right: Installing to our experimental smart house "OchaHouse".)

Demo video
Short version for TEI2010 Madness

High resolution version is here! (QuickTime format, 0:30)
Full Version
High resolution version is here! (QuickTime format, 2:37)

  • Koji Tsukada and Maho Oki, ChameleonBall, Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI 2010), pp. 387-388 (2010) [PDF]