Documentation & Reflection

Week 2 Entry 8: Soldering Induction

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 2 March 2020, 2:29 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 6:23 pm

Today, we went ahead and soldered some circuits. This was a several step process that is.... somewhat incomplete, I still need add on a few components - but getting the thoughts down while theyre fresh is what's important for this post.

Because it's easy to forget the rules - for later I'm having them here anyway. We made sure everyone had safety goggles on and had covered shoes (and neatly tied hair), necessities for entering the lab. We then went over soldering lab etiquette, including that no one is allowed to allow someone else into the space, as that could lose you access to the space.

For the soldering process itself, the steps were:

Making sure protective glasses were on, ensure all items being worked on are on the appropriate workspace to avoid damage to furniture

Test everything out on the breadboard (pic related)


Note: Typically, the demonstration in the image would be a bad idea. Do not connect the circuit with your bare hands, as your hands will become part of the cirtcuit. This lets you become a lightning person. For this demonstration the amount of electricity is not sufficient to hurt you

Another note: Connecting a circuit to power can overload components depending on your power source. Always make sure the appropriate resistors are in place before completing the circuit, or else risk them being fried*

Turning on the ventilation fans for fumes, check that the soldering tools tip is not dented, damaged, scratched or split. Scrub against the metal alloy in the holder for for good measure. Repeat this scrub each time the tool is returned to its holder

Making sure the soldering tools areat a 350 degree temperature, indicated by a beep - this confirms they are suitable to be used to solder (do not adjust the temperature). The ones in 207 have an LED indcicating this temperature

Making sure the components are secure on the veroboard, brush the tip of the tool against the component leg, and have a suitable length of wire handy. the heated component (which is hard metal) attracts the soft metal.

Aim for conical shapes (pic related), not rounded ones. Some components (like LED's) can benefit from being slightly higher off the board. Extra length can be removed later.


(Some solders of varying quality.)

In case the solder blobs end up spherical instead of conical, heat up the solder, and use a desolder tool (looks like a syringe) to get rid of the soft metal. Alternatively, use a solder wick, which acts somewhatr like tape.

Unlike the breadboard, that has strips of metall connecing lines in a row, you need to solder connections on the veroboard (pic related). Be conservative with flux, see if you can push the existing flux to link without dislodging the components, before adding more.


Turn off the soldering tool, and tidy up the work space.

Project Inspiration idea - Baby Smoke

Seamus Nash - Mon 2 March 2020, 2:04 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 2:05 pm

The idea posed from the brief outlined is a physical device called the Smoker Baby.

The main concept is that when in a crowd setting, If if they are about to smoke a baby will erode. On the other hand, if the person doesn’t smoke for a period of time (2 hours), the baby will develop and after two weeks if the smoker hasn’t smoked, the baby will grow to its absolute peak.

It could a cube with LEDS with red and green to represent body parts that have been affected. So the baby would either become really red or really green. This can be further explored.

This was inspired by two things, the smoker shock bracelet, shown in the poster which shocks people before they smoke; and the fact that smoking still is prevalent around 16% of Australian people aged 18-24.

The poster developed is below.


The baby will be given with a few deformities to begin with, so that the smoker has an incentive to quit. This can make it playful as it can look very weird and humorous.

This sketch could represent a person who has quit for the two weeks


This sketch could represent someone who has struggled to stop smoking or it could be what someone may get as a starting point.


However, this can be changed to something else as the concept progresses however as long as it has a positive impact as smokers need this to release dopamine.

babysmoke quitsmoking inspiration physical smoking


Laura Pham - Mon 2 March 2020, 1:11 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 10:29 pm



The Concept

Thinker-Painting allows users to express their inner emotions via a new artistic medium; texture painting. Users create tactile art that is heavily influenced by their current state of mind. Thinker-Painting is designed to allow individuals with a new avenue for expressing themselves, allowing them to better reflect on their current emotional state. It also allows for those who would later interact with their pieces a snapshot into the mind of the artist. There is also opportunity for other users to collaborate with existing users by evolving the pre-existing artwork.


every day creative behaviour is both a cause and an effect of positive psychological processes” (American Psychological Association)

There are many forms and outlets for people to express themselves. These include, but are not limited to: meditating, painting/drawing, or listening to music. Thinker-Painting builds off traditional finger-painting by incorporating a new form of physical interaction. The concept also plays off of the idea that finger-painting is a medium accessible to everyone, thus ensuring it is highly accessible.

How it works

Users put on a specially designed glove that allows for them to “finger-paint”. They then finger-paint on a holographic board that is their canvas. Three-dimensional artwork is produced as they paint in textures and temperatures, based on how the users are feeling at that moment in time.

For example, if someone is feeling angry, the texture that is produced may be prickly or course. Whereas, for someone who is happy, the texture may be soft or fluffy. Since the “brush” is dependent on the user, it can change the texture produced at any moment. Someone who starts with a rough texture can transition to a soft texture if their mood changes accordingly. Temperature will also act as a distinguishing factor between differences in how the same emotion can be expressed, e.g., the difference between a cold or hot anger.

For a pre-existing artwork, a new user will be able to alter the texture that is already there by painting over the piece. Instead of simply replacing or masking the previous art, the new users creation will be influenced by what was previously there. If the new user is feeling happy and finger-paints over an angry texture, the new texture will merge closer to a texture that is in-between the aforementioned emotions. This would also be the case for the same user painting over their previous work. Other than wiping the board clean, there will be no erase option as its not in the human condition to simply be able to erase emotion.



Week 2 Entry 7: Concept Development - Throwing Out the Garbage

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Mon 2 March 2020, 12:53 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 1:05 pm

I've spent an excessive amount of time running in circles around the ideas I had the other day, and so it's time to break them down and see what did and didn't work.

While it was a great opportunity to speculate and wonder about these ideas where I thought "Hey, wouldnt it be cool if this was a thing!!!"... I was supposed to be working on a concept and not concepts. In hindsight, none of these were good ideas, they need to at least be passable, and I should have been more focused on the brief when thinking about them.

For now, the pros and cons of each individual concept.

1. Angry Kitchen Tools


  • short, quick interactions - wont overstay their outcomes
  • movements are straightforward
  • grabbing, pressure, angle and repetitious actions can all be measured using rudimentary sensors


  • Has to differentiate from other, existing smart tools
  • Sensor calibration shenanigans (I know were avoiding implementation specifics, but it's still worth considering)
2. A Cog for the Machine


  • Understanding how people rationalise and accept technology
  • Getting people woke to the idea of job scarcity and underemployment
  • strong, negative emotions, a chance to start up interesting conversations


  • being locked in a room is anxiety inducing, which is intended, but perhaps such an idea does more harm than good
  • answering questions is boring - the structure of the questions matter just as much as who is asking hem
  • the research into
  • arm wrestling a robot isn't a substantial interaction
  • putting people in an unwinnable situation inherently biases them against tech
  • not an interaction that can be returned to... only novel the first time
  • Too many what ifs
3. Reflecting Fountain


  • ??? This one was a bit too half baked


  • Interaction is a little brief
  • Posture correction is much more... passive than something like watching an ad. It's not an interaction if they just have to stretch out.
4. Panopticon Go-Karts


  • understanding the impact of social robots that have no empathetic characteristics on peoples perception of machines
  • it'd be funny


  • literally not an interaction
  • eye contact and gaze detection is notoriously hard to handle, need lots of cameras
  • way too passive, people forced to interact with these machines
5. Life Switchboard


  • Perform a straightforward action to get a result
  • Somewhat unusual mode of interaction
  • Meeting new people creates a social space, what kind of ground rules would people set up?


  • Movements in the interaction are too small and inconspicous, its more of a situation than an interaction
  • Too much room for abuse
Closing Thoughts

These were really basic risk benefit assessments - but there's a clear throughline with the problems with them, I've focused a little too much on the concepts and what ifs, and not enough on how people fit into the situation.

Typically, I'm used to researching for specific users first, and then narrowing down into an idea from there, so the opportunity to simply design in any space may have gone less well than expected.

With that being said, the idea with the most tangible interaction for now is angry kitchen tools... which unfortunately is the idea I'm least interested in.

Understanding the reality that most ideas are going to be thrown out and transformed later on... perhaps there's some value in just having something presentable through a more refined version of that idea, rather than having a concept I enjoy be the first foot forward, particularly with how abstract most of them are.

[Week 2 - Post 1] - Actuated Pixels

Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 2 March 2020, 11:11 am
Modified: Tue 31 March 2020, 3:34 pm

See the concept poster here: Actuated Pixels.pdf

Actuated pixels' (AP) takes on the sci-fi concept of Iron Man's floating holograms and glass-based touch screens and combines them with recent prototypes in haptic interaction, such as the inForce concept developed by the Tangible Media Lab.


A noticeable issue with modern touch technology that sci-fi often don't have is the ability to reach out and touch the information in front of their person. Looking to our everyday life technology, it is mostly limited to flat 2D screens that offer little to none sense of physical realism upon touching the pixels on the screen. This issue is ever more present for vision-impaired or blind users who require additional assistive software such as speech interfaces to interact with the same technology most of us see as integral to our everyday life.

AP makes use of micro-actuators that pushes on a flexible screen to create an elevated area where its digital counterpart is located, such as text, braille (text for visually impaired users) or a button, allowing the user to see and touch the element simultaneously. In this way, developers can elevate their design to include how users not only see their front-end but also how the information should feel like on touch. With that said, AP's technology is not limited to screens only as it could easily be repurposed into other areas such as sensing electric wiring in walls or handheld devices allowing blind people to navigate streets more easily.

The playfulness of AP comes from the added dimension of sensing information using your fingertips and through allowing digitally generated physical representations that take shape of interface metaphors that are familiar to the user. AP can allow for a novel way of interacting with information that may very well become the new normal for a wide range of users.

actuatedpixels actuated touch tangible neumorphism week2

Assesment 2: Project Ideas and Inspirations

Thomas Saly - Mon 2 March 2020, 11:08 am

The poster can be found here Secret Handshake Lock

Smart Locks

Article Article

Smart locks are becoming ever more common, but are they safe? I've read some articles on their safety and where they are most vulnerable. What these articles agree on is that it depends on the user and how much care they take with their technology. The quote from one of the articles that had the most impact was the following from MIT professor Stuart Madnick “You may buy a stronger lock for your door, but if you still leave the key under the mat, are you really any more secure?” in other words, your home is as safe as the user makes it.

Cyberpunk 2077

The dystopian game Cyberpunk 2077 has granted som inspiration, here there are many technologies we, as of yet, lack. Some of the most prominent technologies are mechanical arms in the media that has been presented to the public thus far. In addition, a big part of Cyberpunk is hacking into different security systems, something this idea also addresses.

imgur imgur
Secret Handshake Lock

The issue is that people treat their everyday home security with little care, thinking that their technology will keep them safe. This may not be the case, especially when people install different apps left and right not thinking what these apps may do to their home safety. The Secret Handshake Lock intentionally shows an obvious case of bad home security to understand that the handshake between your device and your door can be as secure as a handshake performed publicly for everyone to see. The hand itself can be programmed to know several handshakes that allow any user that knows the handshake to enter through the door.

The playful nature in this idea lies in the novelty and obvious ridiculousness of the concept and the novelty of creating especially fun or overcomplicated handshakes as a key for your door.

home security smart locks intentional controversy mechanical arm

Week 1 - Studio 2 (Wednesday 26 February)

Laura Pham - Mon 2 March 2020, 9:15 am
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 1:45 pm

7 Grand Challenges of HCI

I was assigned to the 6th Grand Challenge of HCI; Accessibility and Universal Access.


Clay spoke to the table to start conversation. There was not much disagreement on the demographics that were mentioned, with the exception of gender. Personally, I found that my gender does not restrict me from accessing technology that the opposite gender would have seamless access to. It was mentioned that online advertisements would be specifically targeted towards my gender (female), however, I disagree as advertisements are based off what I had previously searched before. For instance, if I had not searched anything, the Google would not be able to assume my gender.

It is important to note that I do use AdBlock, so it was difficult for me to fully resonate with online advertisements (I would only see them on my phone).

On the topic of the ageing population, Clay made an excellent point! I argued that the older population that struggle with technology are so as they are partially ignorant. Clay suggested that rather than ignorance, it may be that the younger generations are more mentally progressive and accepting of technology, in the sense that we were fortunate to grow up with technology and were able to see it evolve.



Initially, the Ideate activity was confusing, however, once tutor clarified the activity and gave an example of ideas that were not literal to the sentence, I better understood.

For example, I understood "jump" only as the physical motion. But it turns out that it could be used metaphorically; jump into the holidays.

At the end of the Ideate exercise, I learnt not to take everything as its literal meaning, and rather think critically to ideate on other possible meanings.


Mengfan Yang - Mon 2 March 2020, 4:55 am

Create Wind


Because of the coronavirus, there are many people have to spend much more time at home. The decrease in the outside activities can lead people to lack of exercises. Thus, I decided to design a physical interactive game to help people do more excise at home.

As you can see, users need to waving something to create wind which can blow down the plant on the screen. They can use their hands or other objects, such as books. Depending on the strength of the wind, users can blow down dandelions, grasses, or even trees. Also,due to the directions or the strength, plants on the screen will gain different animation effects.

Imgur Imgur

To be more interesting, the game will be added to some challenging factors. For example, people need to make stranger wind to pass more levels. Also, people can compete with their friends. They will gain the score depending on the completion time.



My inspiration is from the switch game -- Just Dance. The handle can detect people's gestures to compare with the dance on the screen and win the score. By playing this game, people can burn calories and have fun.


Project Ideas & Inspirations -- Poster Explanation

Sylvia Wu - Mon 2 March 2020, 3:45 am
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 9:47 pm

##Guide Shoes

(A wearable device for the blind)

Although the guide sticks have gradually become intelligent, I find that blind people are a fragile group as a special group. Not only are the young people in the blind group, but also some of them are blinded by various accidents in the later stage. They have difficulty accepting the blind's living habits for a period of time after blindness, and even feel that using a guide rod is a disgrace. Their emotions are richer and more self-respecting than the average person, and they do not want to be labeled.

Create a safer external environment for blind people in multiple dimensions and greatly improve travel efficiency. Have considered adding a warning light to the shoes [but not put it in the final design], although I think this can not only improve the convenience of the user but also warn others

When the visual senses are occupied, the stimulation of other senses will be more sensitive, so I choose to use the vibration in the sense of touch to deliver useful information to the user in time.

######How it works: (steps are included in the poster)


/// /// ///


* Microsoft bone-conducting headphone

The bone-conducting headphone allows blind people to feel specific directions through sound and summarizes specific situations to remind them.

My opinion on this design: Because I want to create multi-sensory designs, I hope their senses can combine hearing and touch. Instead of isolating them from the outside with headphones, this may miss some reminders of pedestrians, etc. (even the precise technology will definitely have an emergency situation)

* AIREAL: Interactive Tactile Experiences in Free Air

Free Air Haptics display delivers effective and expressive sensations in free air, without requiring the user to wear a physical device. Users can feel virtual 3D objects, experience free-air textures and receive haptic feedback on gestures performed in free space.

disabled #blind #wearable devices #tactile

Week1-Self Intro

Shuang Wu - Mon 2 March 2020, 3:31 am
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 3:32 am

Hi everyone, i am Shuang Wu,this is my second and last year of my Interaction Design period. I really enjoy every semester working with teaching staffs and my peers, which teaches and inspires me a lot. Through every courses and projects i went through, i find myself getting addicted to the process of findng problems and solving them. Every final products created step by step makes me fullfilled. At the same time, the improvement i made gradually motivates me to continue working hard.These are all very positive virtuous cycles. However, all these comes from the hardership. Interaction design was a total new major to me, i didn't have any skill related to it. There were too many times i wished i had mastered some skills. Plus my unskilled english.Every semester means a challenge to me as well. Fortunately,i made it, and with joy. Now, the most pround progress i made is my familiar with the whole design process. I even led several projects as a team leader. I found myself better at generating inspirations, problem soslving and user connecting paart.Part of the reason behind it is that i want to force myself to communicate with others to overcome my fear of making expression mistakes. However, that led the less participation in programming part. For the new semester, i wish i could do more technology work. By the way, the new physical operation in this course appeals to me. Just can't wait to begin.

(Sorry for the late submission of my Week 1 Journal. Because of the travel ban, i'm in Thailand now for 14 days isolation. Things didn't go well as expected, like lacking conversion plug and the broken routers in my room...Too many to complain! But i won't miss any assessment any more.)

Week 1 - Poster Explanation

Shane Wei - Mon 2 March 2020, 3:18 am

Forest Story

Recently, I read the news that the hill fires burning in Australia due to hot weather and dryness began in September 2019. As of January 17, 2020, the fire burned about 17.1 × 106 hectares of land. As of January 8, 2020, more than 5,900 buildings were burned by the mountain fire, and another 34 people died. According to estimates by the University of Sydney, more than 1 billion animals have been killed by the ongoing fires across the country. Macquarie University estimates that billions of animals, including bats, amphibians and insects, died in the fire.

So, I want to design an interactive device that calls on people to protect animals and their homes.


How to play

a. I will provide some animals in a touching screen, the users can choose one of them which they intereted in. For example, I put a koala and a kangaroo in the first step.

Imgur Imgur

b. When the user choose the animal, the screen will go to the introduction of this animal. The users can learn the knowledges of the amount of the animal and the situation of their habitat. In the poster, I pick a kangaroo for example.

c. After reading the introduction, the projector will project the habitat on the big screen on a wall. But there isn't any animal in this place.

d. When the users walking into the projection area, the camera will capture their body, and make an animal on the screen. The animals on the screen will follow the user's body. In addition, as more and more people enter the projection area, the habitat of the animals will change accordingly.



This device really helped me. I think I could use the same capture and image technology in my design.

Week 1 - Reflection

Shane Wei - Mon 2 March 2020, 2:37 am
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 2:37 am

HCI 7 Grand Challenges

I read the third part of the article. The third part of this article describes in detail the role of ethics, privacy, and security in human-computer interaction. In this part, the author's advantage is that there is no general concept of privacy and secure human-computer interaction. It is a very comprehensive analysis of the important role played by ethics, privacy, and security in various human-computer interactions, which provides us with a good guiding role in the design and production of interactive products. For example, it is mentioned in the article that the user's consent needs to be obtained in advance when performing user tests, but the testers may not get the expected results after knowing that they are being concerned, and the use of special groups needs to be considered in the design process. These are the real problems we encountered in the previous course project test.

At the same time, it is well known that protecting the privacy of users is an indispensable part of the design process, whether in social networks, healthcare, or the Internet of Things and big data. However, what surprised me in this article is that I never thought that VR and AR technologies also need to ensure user privacy and security. This provides new requirements for our future design. If we need to design and produce VR or AR programs, we will add ethical standards and privacy protection to make our designs more secure.

I think the most important one is learning and creativity. Because no matter what product we design, we must start with learning, and learning is the foundation of everything. Only after learning the relevant knowledge can we avoid being helpless in design. Moreover, I think the design must be creative. If a new product has no distinctive ideas, then the new design has no characteristics and cannot be a qualified design.



I found this video in Youtube. I really like the idea of this X-Ray mirror. When the user look the mirror, it will show the user's skeleton on it. The skeleton will follow the user's body to move. This installation is really helpful for creating my own idea. I will use the same way to capture the users' movement in my device.

Week 1 feeling

Unfortunatly, because of the travel ban, I can't take the course in time. Because of the different countries, I need to overcome the effects of jet lag. Taking lessons without interacting with professors and classmates made my learning more difficult. I hope I can return to school smoothly next week to participate in the course.


Bonnie Wang - Mon 2 March 2020, 2:04 am

Work Done

This is the first week of the physical computing course. Everything is a new beginning. This week we are mainly focusing on the introduction of the course and inspiring ideas. Class activities have given us a clearer understanding of physical computing, and by looking at some previous students' work, we can also understand what physical computing is and come up with some new inspiration.

  • 7 Grand Challenges of HCI

In class, we also discussed seven challenges. In today's society, technology has really changed people's way of life to a great extent. The appearance of new technology brings more convenience to our life. One of the challenges I was assigned was learning and creativity. In this new area, technology will support and promote new learning styles, multi-modal learning capabilities, and lifelong learning. Technology assisted, enhanced and mediated learning is not a new concept, and many types of technology are already being used in schools today. Hardware includes computers, projectors, interactive whiteboards and Smart Mobile Devices, so I think there are a lot of design directions to think about in this topic. Changes and innovations in educational methods can really provide great convenience to people and thus improve their work and learning efficiency.

Another challenge we discussed is Ethic, Privacy and Security. Now social media has become a very important role in our lives. People use social media almost every day. Therefore, in such a social situation, security and privacy for the user is really very important. We're also seeing a lot of news about new scams, mostly by criminals who use social media to exploit security and privacy vulnerabilities. This issue is not just about privacy and security, but also about personal security through the disclosure of important information.

  • Card Brainstorming

Another activity we conducted is card brainstorming. what we did for this activity was to draw four random cards in either suit, so one club, heart, diamond and spade, and then generated some potential concepts based on these prompts.

My solution was: Design to 「reveal」 in an 「office 」using「smell」with the quality of 「mechanical」

A device that can detect the degree of intimacy between people based on their smell.

A close friend or family member may also become a colleague. We know that people who live together often share a common smell. So the device can identify employees' odors, match them to the similarity, and see the possibility of closer relationships between some employees.

How it Relates

At this stage, my idea is more of an interesting one. From the perspective of playful, try to create a better interactive experience for users of all ages. Things like light sensors, or interactive sound effects, are all fun and relaxing. In addition, inspired by the learning topic, I also had an idea to design a device for children to receive toys, but this idea is not mature. It could be a physical device that provides interactivity, but at the same time has an APP to assist, or even to increase parent-child interaction. I need to think further about something deeper.

Work to Do

My next work will focus on developing ideas and selecting the most appropriate project from among many ideas for future work. Therefore, I will continue to read some materials, read more cases to stimulate my imagination. Before deciding my personal thoughts, I have many options to think about. Over the next two days I will finalize the ideas and make the necessary sketch for next week's presentation.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me

As far as ideas are concerned, I have not found a specific direction, but in the divergent thinking of the bold to imagine. By chance I saw two good designs designed by a Dutch production group on the Internet and I thought they could give me some inspiration. They are:

  • Shylight

This is a lighting installation. The work "Shylight" is inspired by the response mechanism of the plant -- The MIMOSA is stimulated to close up, the ACACIA droops its leaves in the dark and stretches them again at sunrise. Fascinated by the way nature interacts, the artist created this light installation: When the light is turned on, a flower bud shaped chandelier drops from a nine meter high ceiling, with the fall of the show as a epiphyllum-like blooming of the beautiful moment. If the light is turned off, the flower closes its petals gently as the light slowly changes. The whole process has a strong breath of life.

  • Flylight

In "Flylight, " the artist uses a streamlined light tube to simulate the flight of birds and a sensor inside the tube to change the light as the environment and the crowd move around it. In the artist's view, the harmony of the flock's behavior is due to the organic interaction between living creatures and their environment, which gives the birds a sense of natural beauty when they fly. The artist tries to use the light to restore the beauty which is born from the organic interaction, and let the viewers experience the wonderful changes of the natural world in the light and shadow flow.

Week 1 - The Beginning

Liony Lumombo - Mon 2 March 2020, 12:40 am


Hi! My name is Liony, the student who wants to learn something new almost every time. And I like to challenge myself to do something more than I think I can do.

For this semester, I hope I can create something that can be playful but also useful. Hope I can create that with joyful team-mates.

Activities in Class

I do a lot of things in the class during week 1. In day 1, the first thing we do was making clear what kind of, course, is this. Each table answers the questions then write it down on the whiteboard/paper. There's a lot of rumours and concerns/fears that made me worry about myself in the future. Let's wish the best for all of us. :)

After that, we analyze the examples of Physical. I conclude the characters from them, such as Physical, things what users really need (pro and con digital), users familiar with the device, people don't take it seriously for some examples (e.g piano stairs), and finally it is helpful/useful. And I found there were so many other examples in @hardwareux Instagram. Not all examples fit for specific people.

On the second day, we discussed about HCI Grand Challenge. I got into Security and Privacy Group. In here, I realised that the problem is not about how to make a good or safe product, but how easily people give their data only for an interesting offer.


On the same day, the activities that I like the most is playing cards to find the ideas. Using different words and change it many times will help us think more and variated.

Imgur Imgur Imgur


Sulaiman Ma - Mon 2 March 2020, 12:11 am


Since this is the beginning of the semester, so I felt a little not prepared well for the course in the first semester, I found that my preparation is too little which leading to I did not have good performance in the group discussion in class, so I need to think more and prepare more before the class for the following days. And in the process of ideation, I found one of my faults, which is spending too much time when stuck, rather than jump to another idea. Especially when we use the card to do the brainstorm. The next time of brainstorm I will try to move on fast instead of stuck on an idea too long.

Plan for Next Week

The most important thing next week is the presentation of my idea, I need to figure to use what kind of way to introduce my idea soon. Maybe I will try to use a scenario to illustrate that, it will be much easier to understand. Besides, I will go to soldering induction and space induction on Mon.and Wed. Good luck to me!

Project Inspiration: Em-Cube

Rika Matsubara-Park - Mon 2 March 2020, 12:06 am
Modified: Tue 3 March 2020, 6:34 am

I spent the weekend coming up with some slightly less impossible designs for the pitch and project. I began with a rough ideation of different ideas on paper, then made a more elaborate mind map, and spam of different concepts that popped into my head.

Imgur Imgur

After discarding many ideas, I eventually ended up with something called the Em-Cube.



The process began with wanting to target the challenge of mental health in physical computing. Mental health may be one of my greatest interests, alongside birds. With the concerns of people misdiagnosing and avoiding help at all for their problems, my mind was brought to mood-tracking apps on phones. I personally haven't used any myself, but


Imgur Imgur

Em-Cube is a small portable device that allows you to track and measure different emotions with greater precision. With the rise of products focused on health and well-being, there are still many challenges in the mental health sector. Em-Cube brings a new layer of interactivity to mood-tracking, utilising tap and slide, fitting its functionality into a small cube that can be carried around without the disruption of a phone. The concept comes in three parts. The first is the basic functionality of the cube - Tapping on one of the flat edges turns on the device, and tapping twice turns it off. Tapping on the other flat edge allows the user to swap between negative and positive moods. Each face of the cube represents a specific emotion, associated with a colour, and can be selected by tapping it face-down on a solid surface. Users can slide the cube to record how intense their current emotion is, which is indicated by the strength of vibration.

This concept has been inspired by the psychological evaluation systems in the Blade Runner films. While the Em-Cube can’t identify if someone is a Replicant, it targets the issue of misdiagnosis; this cube allows users to track their moods, with the addition of a reader that can be utilised by a therapist or counsellor. It further allows users to actually remember the different moods they experience over a day or week, and recall either happy moments or things that brought them down. The colours allow users to see an overall summary of their moods on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, and whether there are improvements or unfortunate declines in their moods, which can further be discussed with a therapist or even shared with friends. Em-Cube enhances everyday life for those who want to keep track of their mental well-being.


As mentioned in the pitch, I was inspired by the psychological evaluation tests in the two Blade Runner films. Referred to as the Voight-Kampff Test, and the Baseline Test, the psych evaluations ask the user questions, and their answers are analysed to detect whether they are a Replicant or not. It sparked some thoughts of how humans are unable to really analyse a person's mind, especially when it comes to themselves. In a therapy session, users don't analyse themselves, they are evaluated by recalling emotions and events, and having the therapist provide a diagnosis or form discussion around it.


The shape was inpired by fidget cubes, which I have bought before for a friend. They are compact, easy to handle, and small enough to put into your pocket. They're easy to access and really you can use it in most situations. My initial idea was to incorporate the fidget sides to the Em-Cube, however that became a bit of a chore to achieve.

Imgur Imgur

Furthermore, the cube was originally called a "Mood Cube", which was so generic I swore there had to be something out there that already existed. And I was correct. Mood cubes didn't really work with the mental health of a person, and didn't hold much in regards to interactivity. The mood cube is simply a soft glowing lamp that calms users down with different colours. I decided to incorporate that into my product, as the use of colour can be effective in representing different emotions.


mental health pocket-sized cube moodtracking

Week 1

Tianrui Zhang - Sun 1 March 2020, 11:58 pm
Modified: Tue 3 March 2020, 4:30 am

About me

I am an international student and I am a graduate student from China. This semester is my last semester at the University of Queensland. As a result of the epidemic, I am currently in Thailand. I will attend the first two weeks of the course remotely.

About Physical Computing

I want to learn how to work together, how to work in groups, and how to interact more. And, I'm curious about what skills we need to use in this course. I worry that I lack good ideas in the design process. I have encountered this problem in previous digital prototype courses and social mobile courses.

Previously, I learned two courses with Lorna, one was digital prototyping and the other was social mobile. So I am familiar with Lorna's teaching methods.

About the challenge

1. Would you add anything to the challenge?

Cultural background, living habits, subconscious, etc.

2. Why do YOU ​​consider this a challenge for the future?

Regarding the Human-environment interactions section, I think that the use of smell and smell is difficult to explore in the future, this interaction method has higher requirements for the use environment. If you use taste in this way, you need to consider hygiene issues, because the disease is imported from the mouth, and you must ensure that users taste a clean, non-toxic taste. Using smell in this way requires that no other flavors be mixed into the air.

3. Based on your discussions, generate a short description that captures the key elements/considerations of the challenge. Add an example to help illustrate the description.

I think this part of Human-environment interactions is mainly about future interaction methods that will change. With a large screen and keyboard, the use of the mouse will be less and less. People will begin to interact with other things in life, and the way they interact will change dramatically.

4. Examples may be historical (ie. As an impetus for change or example of change).

The use of AR, VR, and Google Glass is to get rid of keyboard and mouse operations. In addition, there are installations in some public places that use light and shadow interaction methods.


Sulaiman Ma - Sun 1 March 2020, 11:58 pm

The Work Done:

On Monday

I went to the UQ Innovate, the tutor introduced us to many machines that will be used in the future process this semester including Bandsaw, Laser Cutting, Painter and so on. The most important part of the induction is the safety rules and using instructions. It seems that each machine is very dangerous if we used it in the wrong way. We also used some machines to cut the wooden board as below shown.

On Tuesday

In the contact session, we shared our cognition, excitement, concerns, rumors, and questions about the course. The opinion of our group is as below. After Lorna's answering, we get more clear about what we should do and what we should emphasize.


After that, we discussed what is physical computing, and tried to find some examples from the Internet. By sharing the understanding of Physical Computing, I felt confident to produce some ideas in the future. Some good examples are as below.

On Wednesday

Firstly, we discussed the 7 Grand Challenge of HCI. In my table, we focused on the Well-being, Health, and Eudaimonia. We found some positives about that. Firstly, It can produce an effective and less expensive way for people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Secondly, it encourages positive behavior and avoids harmful ones. Thirdly, it can help people do self-monitoring of their health. On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages. Firstly, the high potential for self-monitoring. Secondly, the high cost of the equipment. Thirdly,over-dependency of the electronic stuff. Fourthly, privacy threats like shown below. After different tables sharing their finds about the challenge, it gave me a lot of inspirations about which aspects to generate ideas.


After that, we were in the process of generating ideas, using the imagination and inspiration from the cipher of a different set of cards, this method improves our effectiveness of generating ideas a lot.

Imgur Imgur

And this is my sketch at that time.



One of my favorite ideas is called the Rolling Moon. The cipher is "Design for love in transportation using push it with the quality chaotic." Inspired by the sentence, mine idea is to make a ball shape transportation which can allow couples to lie in it, by using AR and VR technology, people in it will feel that they are floating in the adventure in the space, The Roller Moon will be powered by solar energy, rolling forward, but passengers will not feel dizzy or bumpy, because the body has a good suspension system. It will be enjoyable for couples to drive the transportation, lie and talk together. By designing the vehicle, it provides for couples a better experience of dating time.


Week 1 Entry 6: Concept Development - Having Lots of Bad Ideas to Have One Good One

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Sun 1 March 2020, 11:56 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 2:54 am

By now I've doodled out some of my ideas a few different ways, and I want to... put it in ink so that I start narrowing them down.

Among the five ideas highlighted in my week reflection post, were the following ones that I've since invested more effort in. The idea being, each of these would be written in such a way that I could easily tweak them to be their own concept for presentation, but only one survives to later.


The intent behind having all these different ideas on one page, is that Im weighing them against each other and evaluating them somewhat often while comparing them. The downside, as indicated by the size dedicated to each individual idea... I have a bit of a clear preference. In hindsight, equally sized panels for all the ideas would have been a preferable choice.

Besides that... well, I've excessively focused on my area of interest... social robots. Even if I wasn't interested in other ideas, I should have had themes that made sure that not all of them had common ground.

1. Angry Kitchen Tools

You walk into your kitchen, prepare some ingredients, and pick up a knife to dice some vegetables. Then, it starts talking to you. You've grabbed it too loosely, so it chastises you, because slipping while holding it could lead to a nasty cut. Next time, you'll know to be more mindful of that grip.

We see smart tools everywhere these days, but none of them are ones you're handling directly. How well do these smart devices fit in your life? Do they actually serve you and act as net goods? This idea seeks to introduce a smart device to a person that accompanies, rather than replaces them to complete a task. Essentially, a kitchen tool to teach using grip, angle, and speed to

Plus, I liked the image of a knife speaking directly to you, which sounds like an idea from a slasher film. The novelty here comes from the tools reactions to you as you cut things.

2. A Cog for the Machine

Plenty of people practice for interviews. But what if your interview was a confrontation with an actual, humanoid machine? Would you have the courage to face down against it? Have we as a society become too accepting of software replacing roles people handle?

There's a rise in automation and how it's replacing people in numerous jobs... Even recruiters themselves are being replaced merely by automated scanners that read over resumes and automatically reject people.

What if you could put a face to the name of the machine that rejects you? How devious would such a machine be? One way I thought this would be possible was if youre in an escape room scenario with your interviewer, a robot, where youre locked inside with it. You answer a series of questions until its satisfied, then arm wrestle it, to win your job. Of course, the manufactured outcome for this idea is that no matter what you do, youll always have the wrong answer for all questions, and lose the arm wrestling match...

I could imagine a situation where corporations either make the machine have no identity, so that people project onto the machine to justify their inability to satisfy it - or crafting a very specific image that's 'brand safe'.

For this concept, the idea is that you can't escape, you're locked in a room and have to "fight" this machine, or else you've lost the chance at the job. The twist being, your loss is the intended outcome. The people in charge of the machine are nowhere near you, you face a thoughtless, uncaring opponent whose only goal is to pin you against a vague standard.

3. Reflecting Fountain

You head to a water fountain to refresh yourself, but it forces you to go through hoops to use it. Gaze into your reflection screen as it tells you what to do.

Granted, the thing it wants you to do... adjusting your posture -isn't a big deal, but the fact that one has to modify their actions to satisfy an arbitrary condition, is it enough to make people decide not to use it? Do they try to find some meaning or justification for satisfying the machine?

Inspired by the ridiculousness of how some fountains and sinks have eye-tracking to make sure that you're paying attention to an ad being displayed on a screen that has to be watched to use them.

4. Panopticon Go-Karts

Surveillance in some ways is accepted as a norm, but what if the surveillance was much more easily apparent? A lot of surveillance involves either your personal device, or

What if acknowledging surveillance, even if only by eye contact, immediately caused you to be more directly tracked?

This idea revolved more around monolithic, opaque screened vehicles of sorts, that would track you around a specific area. The exteriors are opaque glass, and each vehicle has cameras inside it detecting specifically the gaze of onlookers, pursuing the first onlooker that sustains attention on it long enough to trigger a software switch.

The panopticon ( is the idea of a tower that allows for the observation of prisoners which pushes them to behave a certain way, because they cannot see into the tower that watches over them. Somewhat similar to this idea. However, instead of people in the tower that might possibly be observing them, when someone is noticed by these machines, there's clear feedback theyre being watched as they pursue and accelerate towards the targets.

Further, these monoliths are aggressive and target people indiscriminately, but are much less imposing than a giant, impenetrable facade of a building that the original panopticon is. Because they're not in a central location, it's harder to know where they are, and why they follow you, than a tower that stays in place, so people in the area are left more on edge as the machines follow them.

5. Life Switchboard

Meeting new people without needing to look at them. A concept done so often, that there's dozens of apps that do it at the tap of a button. But what if it wasnt the tap of the button? What if you needed timing and a reasonable amount of dexterity to speak to someone, and furher, had no information about them?

Facebook and Twitter allow people with profiles to put their thoughts out to anyone who can listen, but anyone, means theyre speaking to the world at large. What if you instead were directly speaking to people?

Much jest is made about how in the "old days", communication was easier when you spoke to people in person. It felt like it would be hillarious if we could use redundant technology to do what you can already do on twitter like Lorna mentioned regarding the rotaryphone used for Facebook.

Inspired by the idea of switchboard operators (, people responsible for connecting calls through in the early days of telecommunication - that incidentally could listen over the line and hear private conversations.

Instead, here you're connecting to people, its a public conversation to someone in the same general location as you, that other people can join. There's a possible novelty here being having no idea about what kind of conversation you might find yourself in, and also, a conversation going continously across several hours, with different participants dropping out and in to the line.

Closing thoughts

I've ended up spending... a little too much time on these ideas, and not enough rejecting them, breaking them down, then transforming them into something new and usable... and documenting the thoughts that went behind them wasnt too helpful either/

Finding ways to articulate thes ideas didn't vastly accelerate my progress in arriving at something for the poster... Next up, I need to edit these down to be more coherent, and make sure that one of them fits the criteria of the brief more closely.