Show Control Software
The interactive terrarium is controlled by a dedicated software system, called the Secret Systems. This is a new, integrated toolset for the rapid development of interactive, location-based experiences that handles every step from the hardware layout to the design of the interactions. It creates an abstraction barrier between the design of the interactions and the incorporation of hardware devices, thereby allowing one to design the interactive experience directly without having to worry explicitly about the underlying hardware constraints.

Using this system, equipment can be dragged and dropped onto a layout window. It is then virtually cabled, allowing the system to open appropriate drivers and correct ports. Detailed cabling and setup instructions are generated as an html file to be used in installation. The equipment controlled in this installation includes: 8 channels of digital audio and music, 40 color controlled lights, 6 ultrasonic foggers, 1 waterfall pump, tubeworm capacitive sensors, tubeworm servo controller, drum crystal triggers, and pond grass lights.

The experience is realized as a set of connected modes. Each mode contains an appropriate mapping of the inputs to the outputs. Interactive building blocks are dragged and dropped onto a mode window to be used in a graphical patch. Input and output parsers are automatically placed in the mode window based on the hardware layout. Each mode can have 2 channels of audio associated with it. The modes are placed into a transition graph that defines the paths through the experience where multiple transitions can be defined for each mode.