This week I worked on constructing my prototype and getting the key user interactions in place.
I first began working on getting the two lights working - red and green (bad and good). I used the serial logger, to log the temperatures so I could see when the temperature would change and then anticipate a colour change in LEDs. This allowed me to do some extensive testing on an appropriate temperature range for my prototype so I can test other features. I decided to hard code the WeatherApp temperature, as I have not had a proper chance to look into working the API and merging that with my Arduino. I used the temperature sensor supplied through the Arduino kit and it worked well to capture the approximate temperature in the room. I still need to figure out where and how I am going to attach the temperature sensor to my actual prototype so it is hidden. By doing this it may also affect the temperature reading and accuracy of data.
Later on, I started work on touch sensitivity. This interaction on the prototype forms part of the "playful - annoying" feature. Once the light turns red and stays red, the users have to try and figure out why it is red. BY touch all the hexagon panel the red light can be switch off and hopefully by then, they have fixed the place in the house that is not being energy efficient. Along with the touch, I also want my Arduino to say some phrases as well to add to the annoyingness. LIke when the user is touch the panels, Emily can say "go close the door" or "turn the air-con off"... something sassy to make the user thing about their actions.
I began testing the capacitive touch with a coin (conductive). Later I found the sensitivity of the coin was not enough and I needed more. As you can see in the images below, I tried 4 different types of materials attached to alfoil to test the sensitivity and which one worked the best. The red foam worked the best as it provided the right amount of pressure for someone trying to touch the hexagon and switch off a light. Once the prototype develops further the touch sensitivity will need to be looked at again.
I also managed to change the two LED lights to a strip light. This is a shorter version compared to the one I will be using in the hexagons as I am still waiting on some parts for my own strip lights.
Next, I need to start doing some pre-lim testing to gain a better perspective on how my prototype is going and what I can do to modify it. I also need to work out how I will mount this to a wall and have people interact with it that way. I will also start to record some voice clips for Emily to say when the house is not being Energy efficient. This forms part of the negative reinforcement.