Author Archive

Covid Challenge

By Geanna Ge and Jiamin Liu

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Project Description:

This is a simple game where we challenge our players to drag us towards the button of ‘Back to Normal’. Using distance sensor and Arduino processing, we created this ironic challenge that is the epitome of our prolonged battle against the covid-19 virus. The irony in this game is that we will never reach the button because as you drag us towards the right side of the frame, we will reveal the hands of the Virus that has been holding us back for two years now, covering up the button to go back to our normal lives. The glitchiness of the dragging motion is intentional for it reflects how we went back and forth with our progress during this ongoing pandemic. The slightly out-of-control visual response signifies how the pandemic has developed out of our expectations a couple of times already as well as the uncertainty we face right now.

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Cross-species interaction: The emotion of getting food


Jiamin Liu


Project Description

Animals have been one of the important members of many families, now. They are members of the family instead of pets. So, I hope to study the behavior of animals, such as cats, before studying cross-species interactions.

In this project, I used the number of LED lights to assume the mood of the cat. The sensor can measure the distance of the cat to the food. If the position of the sensor and the food are the same, and the cat keeps approaching the sensor, the LEDs will light up one after another from left to right, which Indicates that emotions are constantly becoming positive. In addition, I use LEDs that change colors automatically replaced ordinary monochromatic LEDs, because the constant blinking can better express excitement. All in all, I hope this project can simulate a phenomenon that animals’ excitement increases as the distance decreases, when they are constantly approaching food.



Discussion of Calm Technology Principles

The technique used in this experiment silently accepts participant data and gives visual feedback. This kind of visual feedback, the flashing and changing of LEDs is the way of communication between technology and participants and language expression. When the technology fails, it will not display the lights and express false feedback through silence.



Experience Video



How It Works Video


Link to Arduino code on Github


Circuit diagram



CHI ’09 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing SystemsPages 2529–2534


Like A Cat


Jiamin Liu

Project description

Like A Cat is an experiment that simulates cat behavior with a human body, such as catching, obtaining real objects through coquetry, and doing night activities. Players can interact with the computer through their bodies and get visual and auditory feedback. The design of these 4 experiments will change the behavior of the player and make the player more like a lovely cat. We are in the daily busy work and feel a lot of pressure. The word ‘cute’ is getting further and further away from us. It’s time to live like a cat!

Study1 Eat food

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Cats have different emotions just like people. Although they only use ‘Miao’ to express their emotions, sometimes they can communicate with humans by their language. A cat will have become very excited when they get the food they want, but if cat doesn’t like the food, they may be still express happiness and act like a baby to get better food. In this experiment, I added cats and pictures, and sounds to increase the atmosphere of body control. When the player touches different foods with their paws, they will have different emotions, such as happiness or excitement.

(The sound material is open source, from here)


Study2 In the dark

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This experiment simulates the blinking eyes of a cat in the dark, which is from observing cats’ eyes on the lawn once at night. Cat’s eyes always reflect bright light, When stays in the dark environment and a bright light shines on a certain part of its eyes. I think this is the data that can be used as its trajectory, so I hope to show this kind of visualizationI imitated the cat’s eyes by associating the face with the yellow dots, and the black drawing board is like a dark night. The player controls the entire movement trajectory through the face, which will be recorded visually.


Study3 Flashing paws

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This environment visualizes the trajectory of joint nodes and bone lines on the player’s hands by MediaPipe’s Hands Track technology. I draw pink joint nodes to express the cuteness of the cat. The size of the circle on the hands will keep changing their colors and sizes with the move, and players can participate in interactive experiments with two hands. The design of this experiment simulated the behavior of a kitten about milk treading, which is a habit of getting a mother cat‘s milk by constantly stretching its paws. Such simple details can always make people feel healed and happy temporarily.


Study4 Footprint

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In this work, I try to explore that the footprints left by cats on human skin, which often happens in daily life, but cats are not malicious. I still use MediaPipe’s Hands Track technology and code guidelines and increase the impact and contrast of colors to create this work. In addition, every hand movement will be left behind, so as to give players a certain amount of creative space to freely create graffiti. In addition, the player can control the size of the scratches by distance, which can leave different scratches on the black canvas.


Reflections and Observations 

I firstly pay too much attention to how to create one technology idea to express an amazing program, which makes me spend too much time finding the information about technical realization. When reading the Aesthetics of interaction in digital art by Kwastek,  the ‘(self-)perceptions’  inspire me, which is in the  ‘Interactive media art reflects not only digital technology ’ s functionality and symbolism, but also the ways in which we deal with such technology and our (self-)perceptions when engaging with it.’ So I find that I can create some story-like daily interactions according to the characteristics of a certain technology, so that players can resonate with use.

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