1. How loud is it? Is it safe to touch?
Incredibly quiet. The loudest thing is the object itself moving through the air, and the magnets can be adjusted to change the 'volume' of movement, so if you make the movement very large, it will create more noise. We can't hear a feather from 10 feet away in a quiet room. For the techies out there, we estimate it's around 30dB.
And yes! Please touch it! If you touch the objects you will feel the secret that your eyes cannot see - that they are vibrating very quickly (80 times back and forth every second). It's a fun way to discover the illusion. The electromagnet is totally safe to touch as it is all at very low voltage and strength. It's fun for all ages.
2. Is the strobe light blinking safe for those with photosensitive epilepsy?
We are almost certain about this, but make no medical guarantees. Epilepsy.com describes most of these being caused at 5-30 flashes per second, where your eyes can register the flashing. This runs at roughly 80 flashes per second, and you can't see the flashing unless you wave your hand in front of it or shake your head fast. If you have any history of photosensitive epilepsy, please consult your doctor before using Slow Dance.
3. Does this work when it's under bright light (daylight or otherwise)?
Given that the effect is based on strobe lights embedded in the frame, when there is sufficient ambient light (like sunlight), the effect is greatly weakened. With the included brightness control on full, we've found it works for most indoor environments (even a few feet from the window), but when it's up against the window or outside in daylight, the effect is harder to notice.
4.What kinds of things can I put into Slow Dance?
Since the slow motion effect depends on vibrating objects very quickly, light objects that vibrate repeatedly work the best. So far I've found the best things are feathers, plants, and flowers. That said, I've also seen custom origami, bent wire, even googly eyes(!) in the mix, and look forward to many more surprises!
I think it's useful to think of Slow Dance like a vase — you don't expect the things in it to last forever, but you intend to highlight their temporary existence. I've found feathers work indefinitely, plants depend greatly on the type (some dry out and get brittle, others seem to work for weeks), and most flowers last for the day, if that.
5. What is the warranty on Slow Dance?
By using the product, Purchaser agrees to the terms of this limited warranty. Wonder Machines warrants that the product will be free from manufacturer defects in materials or workmanship for a period 1 year from the date of purchase. Purchaser's sole remedy for Wonder Machines' breach of this warranty is, at Wonder Machines' sole option, either repair or replacement of the product. To exercise this remedy, the purchaser must notify Wonder Machines within thirty (30) days of the expiration of the warranty period.
The laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts govern this limited warranty; provided, however, that if, despite such choice of law provision, the laws of purchaser's jurisdiction require a longer warranty period, such longer period shall apply. EXCEPT FOR THE FOREGOING LIMITED WARRANTY, THE PRODUCT IS PROVIDED "AS-IS" AND "WITH ALL FAULTS," AND WONDER MACHINES HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
6. How can I customize Slow Dance?
Besides finding or creating objects of your own, if you want to customize Slow Dance further, you can update the code as it is open source and runs off of an Arduino code-base. Get started by going here.
7. Filming Slow Dance
Slow Dance utilizes high-speed strobe lights, flashing roughly 80 times every second. These flashes happen so rapidly that the naked eye cannot register or notice them, and the light looks continuous; however, any camera that shoots frames in sequence will experience some amount of flashing or streaks in the footage, since every single frame will expose a different number of strobes during that 1/30 or 1/60 of a second.
Slow Dance works by rapidly shaking whatever you put in the clips at 80Hz (feathers and flowers work best), and the LEDs inside the frame strobe at slight varying offsets (76-84Hz). Imagine someone jumping rope inside a night club with a strobe light. If the strobes hit at the same exact point every time, the person would appear to be frozen in mid-air. Now vary the offset a little and they’re moving in slow motion.
When using a cellphone or point-and-shoot video camera, try manually changing the exposure up or down; most processors will change the shutter and frame settings, and you can often find one that greatly minimizes the flashing effect. The longer the shutter speed, the brighter the photo will be.
For Professionals / TTL input:
If you use a camera that has an adjustable framerate, all of the modes besides the doubler mode run on a fixed frequency. They are all very close to 80fps (eg 79.8fps, etc) but not exact, so scan in that range and you should find one where the artifacts disappear. If you have access to a camera that has a frame trigger (such as a TTL input), solder a wire to the digital strobe output signal and that can trigger individual frame shots. This will work even for the doubler mode.
For Professionals / Syncro scan / Clear scan:
With some cameras such as Panasonic Lumix and Sony A7, you have access to a function called Syncro scan (Panasonic Lumix cameras) & Clear scan (Sony cameras). With this function, you can fine-adjusting the shutter speed, reducing flickering and horizontal stripes that appear on the camera’s image when recording.
8. How do I clean Slow Dance?
Cleaning Slow Dance is simple. A damp rag or duster should get all the dust off it. The motor is quite robust so getting it slightly damp will not be a problem. If you are using liquids it’s best to unplug it for cleaning.
9. Can I see the manual?
Yes of course, here is the manual PDF.
Dimensions: 12.5” x 14.5” x 2” (W x H x D)
Weight: 3 lbs.
Color Temperature: Warm White
Power: 12V DC, 500mA
Power use: 2-4W (depending on brightness)