Let's Talk Sockets: Creating Interactive Art and Installations with Socket.IO

Mobile & Web

Violet Peña

Before Node.js, a frontend developer looking to work with hardware had to face a very steep learning curve – new languages, tools, and patterns.

Now, however, we can move quickly between frontend and backend, using a familiar language and conventions. Using the full stack, we can create interactive art, playful installations, and so much more. We can connect our frontend and backend with WebSockets, a communication protocol which relies on opening long-lived socket connections rather than polling for events and information.

I will talk about Socket.IO, a library for Node.js that wraps WebSockets and lets us get started quickly with a server and any number of clients. I will discuss ways I have used to it create interactive installations, and showcase WebSocket-driven implementations and examples.