Week 11

Tianrui Zhang - Sat 20 June 2020, 7:44 pm

What is one good thing you can say about lockdown?

For me, the benefits of being at home every day are far less than the disadvantages. The only advantage of being at home is that I cannot learn to cook because I cannot go to the restaurant. At first, cooking feels like experimenting. Search recipes on the Internet and follow the instructions, step by step. Then make it delicious and share it with roommates. However, there was no interest later, because cooking took a long time to wash vegetables, cut vegetables, stir-fry, and clean the kitchen with dishes. The whole process took about 2 hours, and the real mealtime was only 20 minutes. Another benefit of being at home is that I get along with my roommate day and night, and the relationship is very good, because we are the only friends who can communicate face-to-face during this time, and I cannot go out to visit other friends. Before class and study in school, I spent most of my time with my classmates and spent little time with my roommates every day.

Based on feedback to date & what you have left to complete?

In fact, in the last stage, I have completed the main function of the plan. My main responsibility for our project is the mixing section. The main task of the mixing section is mixing. The way to trigger the mixing is to shake the flask. This shaking function uses a vibration sensor. Then the visual effect is that there will be lights of different colours flashing when shaking, in terms of hearing, you can hear the mix.

Ideas about adding new features to the flask

The new feature that comes to my mind is the addition of a delete function. Because of the current technical level, each flask corresponds to a music file. Unless the mixing in the flask is deleted, the music in the flask cannot be selected. This problem was discovered by our team in the initial conceptual design. The flask is made of glass, and we have no ability to make a display on it or install a lot of buttons on it. Here I want to explain the function of the display and the function of the buttons. The functions of the display screen and the buttons are similar, and in fact, it is to allow the user more operating space. Method 1: Use the display screen, touch screen operation, the screen is like a simple function iPad, whenever a new mixing file is generated, the mixing file will have a name and added and displayed on the screen. Method 2: Use buttons, each button corresponds to a piece of music; for example, there are five buttons on the beaker, corresponding to 5 mixes.

However, these two methods only add functionality to me and are not creative. Our theme is the music laboratory. It is necessary to give users the feeling of doing chemical experiments.


If the interaction method provided to users in order to increase functionality is traditional to touch screen operation or key operation, it is very boring for users. So, my last thought was to add a delete function, the way to delete is like dumping chemical waste liquid into the trash can in the chemical experiment. I plan to make a trash can. The ideal way to interact is that when the user holds a flask into the trash can, the sound is deleted. There are two ways to achieve this interaction. One is to add a tilt switch to the beaker. Invert the beaker. The tilt switch is triggered. The sound is deleted, and all lights in the flask go out. The disadvantage of this method is that the trash can becomes a prop. If the user turns the flask upside down, the sound will be deleted. Another way is to place an ultrasonic distance sensor in the trash can. When the beaker is near the trash, the beaker sound is removed. But this method also has a problem; that is, anything close to the trash can, the sound in the flask will be deleted.

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What concerns/questions do you have?

There are two issues that I care about more: One is about the time to hand in the assignments. On June 22nd, I need to hand in the thesis and reflection. These two assignments have exactly the same turn in time. Fortunately, Lorna said she would consider changing the deadline for handing in assignments. Another question I care about is how to collect user feedback. The recording function in our project needs to collect outdoor sound, but our product display location is online, how to let users truly feel the product?

About visual effects:

I also have new ideas about the visual effects of the mixing part of the flask. Unfortunately, because I did not find the right equipment, I gave up. Ben recommended me a device for making smoke, but the online display took 30 days to mail to my house, which was too late for me. Currently, users shake the flask, and the flask will mix and play the mix while shining different lights (RGB lights). This means that the user shaking the flask will trigger two functions, one function is mixing, and the other is playback. My new design is that when the user wants the flask 5 seconds before, the system executes the mixing command, and then when the mixing file is generated, the flask will release coloured smoke. This visual effect will make people feel magical, just like the cartoons watched as a child, the wizard will produce coloured gas when he becomes magic. Then, after the smoke ends, the user will continue to shake the flask to trigger the playback function, and different sounds flash in the flask when playing the music.