Week 2

Benjamin Williams - Sun 8 March 2020, 6:36 pm
Modified: Thu 21 May 2020, 12:54 pm


I was really excited to learn how to solder and work on circuitboards since I had never really used similar equipment. It proved to be much more challenging than I anticipated. Working out how to link the light circuit according to the picture was annoyingly difficult, despite it being a simple circuit. Nonetheless, I eventually got it working and the light is now sitting on my bedside table :) Apparently, my soldering was a bit messy and could have had smoother blobs. I think this was because I was being stingy with the solder and as a result I was trying to spread blobs too much. In future, I'll aim to get a fatter blob and avoid scraping solder all over the place... I also burnt myself :( Regardless, it was a very educational session and I'm keen to improve!

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On Wednesday I pitched my Music Production Paper idea to the class. My speech went pretty well and the critiques endorsed the idea. I'm not great at public speaking, so I was focused on speaking clearly, not to rush and to get my idea across. Presenting without a written speech is definitely a better way to improve your public speaking skills. I was happy to see that the critiques all stated that I was a clear speaker.

Regarding the idea, critiques stated that it was an interesting and novel, but reasonable idea. Music production software is often pretty difficult to wrap your head around so people were excited by a new way to make music. One of my hobby's is music production, so Prod Paper is something that I would love to actually use. So, moving forward with project ideas. I'd be keen to build something music related. Many inspiration ideas were music orientated so it's surely going to be one of the themes. I'm looking forward to the class pooling our ideas together and coming up with some cool concepts.

Concept Theme Brainstorming

With the world cafe coming up next week, the class identified a bunch of themes that came out of our concept presentations. There were around 15 themes in total, so I could already filter out half of them to the ones I'd be most interested in.

Everyday sustainablility

There are a bunch of ideas that I can think of as ways to live more sustainability. Stuff like optimising energy usage, reducing waste, and recycling are some good areas. A presentation that interested me most was the climate gauging, little talking plant that dynamically changes your aircon temperature according to the outside temperature. Its cute face turns sad when you're wasting energy on unnecessary aircon and so it works as an emotional totem incentivising users to make it happy. Another good idea would be a sustainability teaching robot that teaches a family how to be sustainable in a range of ways including energy opimisation.

Musical things / Musical metrics

This theme is a winner for me as it was my concept theme. I'd be keen to combine this theme with another like body as controller to make some sort of novel instrument. I was especially inspired by one of the external uni projects where the user waves around a cloth riddled with sensors that creates sounds by its swishing and flapping movement. While it didn't sound especially good it was cool.

Emotional totems / Emotional intelligence

The crossovers between technology and human emotion definitely interest me. I think there are a lot of unexplored areas about how technology can be used to harness and exploit emotion to create new forms of interaction. For example looking into how different demographics of people can be combined though common emotions. Another area I'm interested in is how technology can possess and use its own emotion to connect with people. For example how people don't want to make a robot sad even when it's simply a program that pretends to be sad. You could do some cool experiments looking at how far people would go to trust a robot or help a robot after making this emotional connection.

Sassy tech

This follows on from emotional intelligence in the way that sassy robots could connect emotionally with users by being annoying or mean. There could be some interesting outcomes of how users would interact with a robot that they clearly don't like and don't trust. Moreover, a robot that they respect and are submissive to lol. This could get weird...

Creative Learning

I thought there could be a bunch of unconventional ways to teach children to read or learn a language. Using games with VR/AR to teach people to cook. Stuff like that.