CrowdSource

There are countless technologies at work at a typical rock concert. Lights illuminate the stage, speakers amplify the instruments and microphones, and huge screens give far-away concertgoers a close-up view of the stage. All of these technologies expand the capabilities of the performer by extending the area of their influence. In the same way, CrowdSource aims to expand the capabilities of audience members by amplifying their typical behaviours and providing a clear communication channel from audience member to performer. CrowdSource is an audience prosthetic.

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Anaglyph Stereography Report

Hi everyone! Here’s my final report for my project on Anaglyph stuff. I couldn’t upload it directly to WordPress since there’s a maximum upload file size, but I have a link here.

Thanks again for everything, Kate! I really enjoyed the class and learned a ton.

Prosthetics: Wings

 

 

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I have always been very interested in making costumes. Making costumes allows the wearer to become something else for a while. This feeling can be heightened by costumes that not only make you look like the character you are trying to embody, but feel like them too. Many costume elements, such as masks, only allow the wearer to “appear” a certain way, and don’t convey the feeling to the wearer.

I have a fascination with making wings. I have made, in the past, several iterations of wings, however none of them have ever been moving. These wings are designed to integrate into your body, while still allowing you to feel them as an extension. The wings are activated by a flex sensor on the elbow. This links the elbow motion to the wingspan. The movements are directly correlated, it is not binary. This allows the user to really feel as though they have full control.   The back panel spreads out the weight of the wings across the users’ back, so they do not feel weighed down. Acrylic is a light material, so the wings do not weigh very much. A crank shaft is used to allow the motors to lift the wings fluidly. Nothing is attached firmly, for a more natural feeling movement.  The original prototype was created in cardboard. The final was created in Acrylic, with heat-bent flaps to give it shape. The plastic is held together by acrylic solvent and metallic rivets to allow it to spin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nudgables: Gears

My interpretation of the nudgables project comes from thinking about why one might want to communicate across the room subtly, and my consistent failure to do so. I chose to think about the act of flirting. Two people may think they are being subtle, or maybe not even fully aware of how they are flirting in a social situation. However, this can be awkward and uncomfortable for those around them. My project consists of two gears, or, “flirtation assistance devices” that attach to the legs of each of the participants. These gears must be turned in the exact right configuration to send a signal to the other device. The motor for the device is located on the inner thigh, a very intimate area on the body. The correlation of the awkward and obvious movement of turning the gears, and the intimate feeling of a vibration on one’s inner thigh, creates the awkward feeling this project aims for.

The gears are cut out of 3mm acrylic, and held together with metal rivets. These rivets are conductive, which make the connections easier to pass through the acrylic. The remains of the connection is made with copper tape, lining the teeth of the gears and spokes. The gear ratio is purposefully off, so that the wearer cannot learn to predict when the buzzer will sound.

 

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Touch North

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I’m deeply fascinated with display-less technology. It’s an interesting challenge for interaction designers when you remove something we’re so accustomed to. This isn’t a frivolous gesture; when you minimize or remove the screen you open yourself up to deeper engagement with the world around you.

While we humans are highly visually oriented, we are defined as a species by our hands. They’ve shaped our evolution by enabling tool use. Therefor, to expand our bodies and ourselves in a visceral way I chose to enhance the capabilities of our hands. I did so by providing more information and capabilities to them.

I addressed this challenge that I created for myself by providing the ability to feel magnetic fields with the right hand. It’s commonly known that birds can see magnetic fields out of their right eye and I love the thought of providing a similar ability to humans.

The glove I made gives the wearer the ability to “feel” magnetic North through a vibrating motor on the wrist. This ability in the glove is activated by pointing, closing a circuit of conductive fabric between the middle finger and palm of the hand (Fig 2). As the wearer moves in a circle the glove vibrates with increasing intensity as North is zeroed in on (Fig 1). The wearer can also set a new heading by making a gesture of pulling a trigger with the index finger (closing yet another circuit of conductive fabric) (Fig 4). This can be reset back to North by bringing the thumb to the palm of the hand (a third circuit) (Fig 5). A distinct vibration, different than those used to alert the wearer to the presence of north, is used to communicate correct gesture input to the wearer.

Gestures and vibration

These simple gestures and vibration responses used to interact with the compass in the glove can be performed without visual attention. As such, wearing this glove as a tourist will provide clues as to your direction without necessitating viewing a map or a smartphone. Those tools serve a valuable role but pull the user out of the moment. Don Norman says that, “the goal (of wearable technology) being to avoid diverting the user’s attention and to provide relevant supplementary information only when needed.” I believe I have achieved this goal.

Materials

Lilypad arduino
Conductive fabric
Conductive thread
Magnetometer
Vibration motor
400mA battery
LED (for demonstration only)

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I used an existing capacitive screen enabled glove as the base of my project and affixed an extra finger pad and a palm pad to input the gestures. I sewed all the electronics to the back of the glove using conductive thread. To clean up my work afterwords I sewed a new layer on the back of the glove, hiding the electronics and conductive thread. I left the new layer open at the wrist, accessible by opening clasps, to allow me to access the circuits should I need to.

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Knock-Knock

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“Knock-Knock” consists of two hanging wall-like objects that give the sensation that the user’s partner is in the next room, when in fact they can be anywhere in the world. When one-person knocks on their section of wall, that knock is translated to the other object, which emits a matching mechanically articulated knock. Anything from gentle rapping to loud banging can be communicated. In addition to the tactile knocking interaction, the ambient sound in one room is recorded and transmitted to the partner’s room, but muffled in order to give the sensation that the sound is coming from a room on the other side of the wall. The prototype is designed to blend in with the wall behind it in order to enhance the illusion that the other user is in an adjacent room.

The intention is that the object acts as an extension of the body because it extends the act of knocking into a remote location. It enables two people to communicate through an embodied interaction that bridges spatial distances. The transference of different types of knocking allows for emotionally varied communications such as a soft tapping or an urgent bang. Through these knocks the two users can draw each other’s attention and engage in playful communication, while also maintaining an ambient awareness of each other’s presence. The tactile nature of the interaction establishes a sense of physical connection to the remote setting. My intention is that when both users are interacting with each other via the object, they become aware that they are sharing the same technologically mediated space.

Knock Knock Process

 

 

Rhythms of Life

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Rhythms of Life is a meditation tool which gives you the opportunity to get a bit closer to your real self and appreciate your being. This tool allows you to leave all the stress and material matters aside and only listen to yourself. Breathing exercises and meditation have been around as long as humans history. We can see it through all religions, and all nations. Research shows that people who practice daily praying live a much happier life. It doesn’t mean that we all should practice religious thinking, but we should get closer to Hegelian spirit as all reality, mental and physical. Hegel calls it collective mind’s of man, and it is through the mind that spirit achieves self-consiousness and or as he calls it self-realization.

Have all of that in mind, today’s noisy society makes us farer from the  soul and that leads to mental and physical malfunctions. Noise can be described as any distracting element that permeates to mind through our senses, which changes our feeling and mood.

One of the old methods is meditation when mind and body  are in parallel to overcome its control and order. Breathing is also another quick method to connect the body to the mind. It helps your body overcome stress, reduce tension, and relieve stress. When you are stressed, breathing exercises have health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, slowing a fast heart rate, making you sweat less, and helping with digestion.

I believe that Rhythms of Life will enhance cognitive capabilities which will result better functioning of a self and extends our mental and physical potential.

Initial Idea

My initial idea comes from my beliefs on rhythm and harmon, and the role these two words play in the whole function of universe. As Plato says “Rhythm and harmony find their way into inward places”, the exact way music works. So my idea was to listen to the rhythm and harmony of nature, and why not ourselves as a precious piece of nature. So by listening to your breathe and heartbeat you will be connected to the nature and farer from the artificial noises.

Design

  • Rhythms of Life is designed in a way that fits best on your scalp, and be adjustable for any size.
  • The form also is designed to mimic natural shape of human face.
  • Colours are also chosen from neutral and calming combinations.

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Design Process 

Here are some photos from the 4D process through: Define, Discover, Design and Deliver.

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Project 3: [Reflektiv]

Reflektiv is experiential installation that translates a users’ attention and meditation levels into ambient sound and scents, as well as triggering memory wire embedded into a fabricated blooming flower. We were interested in our a user’s private space, such as his or her bedroom or home office could serve as an extension of the body from the transformation of a proximate spatial arena where his or her respective mental states can be experienced.

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Reflektiv reads the users’ mental state with the EEG brain monitor made by NeuroSky. Due to the limitations of this consumer products (4 node input) we only can get Processing to read the levels associated with focus and mediation and converting them into mapped numbers, which are then fed into an Arduino equipped with an MP3 shield, which plays one of three audio tracks: 1) attention 2) mediation 3) random neutral idle track. To be able to get more refined live data out of an EEG, the next step would be a 20+ node devices, which would take an hour to mount and dismount to the user, and clearly this isn’t a sustainable route to take. Processing reads the last 1000 mental states (about 20 seconds) of the EEG and based on that live data, the installation which features 2 hacked Glade scent sprayers and the memory wire blooming flower. If the user has been holding an attentive state of some time, a citrus scent (more lively) will be sprayed along with an audio track that features a sharp-sounding wind chime. If the state is more meditative, a lavender scent (more calm) is sprayed along with a slow sounding track that features water drops. A singular flower made of felt is embedded with memory wire in two opposite petals, and blooms with both mental state inputs. The “garden-like” installation is situation on top of a wooden tray, and the Glade sprayers (2), speakers (2), and flower (1) are will covered with leather. The electronics enclosure that holds the breadboard, Arduino and MP3 shield sits in a rubbermaid container and will covered with felt and feather.

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Note on NeuroSky EEG: the device is quite noisy, and hard to control. We knew about the limitations of this device from the start which is why we went for a more artistic experiential concept, and included a degree of randomness into its output. The attention and meditation levels are sometimes related and sometimes not, and the Muse from Interaxon has actually combined these two states into one scale dubbed “the zone”. Click here or the logo above to watch the narrative video.

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