The SandExplorer offers users a novel interactive experience in exploring data in a playful and tangible way.

By moving the handle over the canvas the user can explore a geo-related dataset such as income distribution, birth rates, traffic density and many more. The two dimensional canvas gives the user a spatial clue which area is explored.

A full dataset plotted on the canvas.

A pinch valve in the handle is controlled by an Arduino controller to regulate the flow of the sand.
The hand of the user is tracked by a leap motion camera, which converts the position of the hand into a X-Y coordinate on a black and white Bitmap.

The Arduino controller is driven by a Processing sketch, which compares the already filled area with the target dataset (a black and white Bitmap).

The construction consists of a basic PVC tube and sheets of plywood. The tube in the back holds the top plate in place. The tube on top is the storage container for the sand.

A flexible hose connects the container to the handle with the pinch valve inside to regulate the granule-flow.