Documentation & Reflection

Last Week!

Rhea Albuquerque - Tue 9 June 2020, 11:49 am

This Week

Over the weekend, I have been prepping for the live exhibit on discord. I have managed to set up a spare room in my house just to hold my prototype on the wall. I also will have room to have my laptop camera set up as well. Hopefully, all goes to plan with that on Wednesday.

Also on Saturday, I did some filming for my website. I need some demos of the various interactions with Emily and how it worked. I decided to split up all the demos into 5 videos, this makes it quicker for the viewer of my portfolio to see the key interaction.

Below is just one of the demos, but the rest can be found on my Portfolio. I thought it was fun filming, I got my dad and brother involved with it. It wasn't the best acting but I guess that all I have to work with (haha). The main point is that my message got across!

My portfolio is pretty much complete and ready for the exhibit. The only thing left is adding the additional feedback sections and Team report once the exhibit is complete on Wednesday. I am pretty happy with the final look and layout of the website. I think I balanced the majority of text and images evenly, making it no so overwhelming for the but also visually appealing so they are interested in my final product.

To Do

The final things to complete this week will be: my team's final report, updating the sections on my portfolio website, and finally the reflective essay. I have started breaking down my essay into the sections I want and planning what I will write about. So I should be on top of that by Friday.

Week 13 Part Two!!!

Rhea Albuquerque - Fri 5 June 2020, 1:59 pm

Some Break Throughs

Today my SDcard Module arrived so I got started on added the voice to Emily. I have also attached an old MP3 speaker to the Arduino, it is somewhat louder than my old one but could be better. In the video below you can hear "You are saving Energy!" as the lights are green.

I also got some other sound effects recorded and they all play at various trigger points. I had some difficulty initially getting the SD card reader to work. I had to install some libraries and my issues were around the pins as they were already coded in the library and I had to figure out which pins they were.

Once I was happy with the voice and the set up of the speaker, I decided to pull apart all my wiring on the Arduino and make it neater and more stable connection points. This was so my set up could be translated to being fitted on a wall. I also changed the push button switch I had to a potentiometer as this was easier to turn and allowed more options. It kinda also looks like a fan knob. So I guess win win there as it is simulating a fan being turned on.

I also finalised the final set up of the build and ensure all the wires were tucked under the hexagons when placed on the wall. I am still working on making sit more firmly on the wall as it wobbles around and this interferes with the pressure someone can apply for touch.

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Still to do

I am still working on my portfolio website and I hope to complete that by the weekend. I need to also get some filming in for some demos of Emily as well as some more photos to put up on the website. Pretty happy for where I am at this moment. Count down is on!

WEEK 13 Last Week!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 3 June 2020, 7:49 pm

Work done

Over the weekend, I finished the outside build of my product. I had to handsaw off the excess paddle pops from the edges of the hexagon. I then hot glued these all together to get the beehive design as seen below. I am now in the process of reorganising the wiring behind the center hexagon. I was going to add lights to the center one but when I did, you could see all the mess behind it as the white material is kind of see-through. I have decided to only have two panels completely working with just the speaker in the center one. I have had to make some compensation for the lack of materials and resources as my final build will not be what I "ideally" wanted it to look like. Despite this, I have been debugging my code and refining some of the actions so that it can show my main features and the viewers will get a broader picture of how it is to work.

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I also decided to add a switch to the device. This switch as like an "energy source" in the house. So for example this could be light, TV, fan, or appliance that can be switched on or off by the user. I needed this switch to be there so that the user could demo how Emily would respond to not turning off energy sources.


I also made a last-minute purchase of an SD card module to assist with playing my audio. I had difficulty last week trying to find a voice library that had all the words I needed to make Emily speak. So I found this new tutorial which required an SD card module. I basically just have to record some audio and then convert it to an WAV file at a lower frequency.

Still to do

I am still finalising my portfolio website and trying to convert a lot of my wordy paragraphs into some sort of imagery. I really want my website to be interactive and to express some of my design flare. I also hope to set up my demo room in my house so that my product is well and working prior to the Wednesday for DEMO day.


This week I stumbled upon this website which has a range of design inspirations. Its kinda like Pinterest but without all the ads and other products, they try and sell you!

This site had a lot of artworks and installations that people had made and this intrigued me. I think it's given me enough inspo to complete my project and end the semester. Its just one of those sites where you can scroll for hours looking at cool things.


Week 12

Rhea Albuquerque - Fri 29 May 2020, 3:51 pm
Modified: Fri 29 May 2020, 3:55 pm

This week

This week was more an update week to check in with the class and my team. As a team, our main time to discuss issues is during the Wednesday Studio class. I guess this is alright as we are all working individually and we mostly just troubleshoot either with the tutors or the internet. We also got to have a trial at using discord for team communications. It was a little troublesome from time to time as the sound would just drop out suddenly. It was a different experience as I had not sed it before, and I think I will need to do some test runs before demo day!

Other than that, I have been working on my Portfolio Website. I have now completely designed and templated up various sections of it for more information to be filled. I decided to keep it all on one pack with anchor links to navigate to different sections of the website. I also started working on some graphics and imagery for the website. I wanted to keep a balance between text and images to make it more visually appealing and quicker to get information out.

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Today I also 3D printed a holder for my ultrasonic sensor to sit in. I wanted to keep all the cables and hardware, secure in my build, and ensure it looked good for a final design. I just need to attach this to the hexagon model now.


To do

I still have a lot of work to do with my actual installation. This weekend I hope to finish the outside design of the prototype. I also want to improve the current text-to-speech module that is attached. Currently, I have not got a large enough vocab library with all the words I need.

Week 11

Rhea Albuquerque - Fri 22 May 2020, 11:17 am

This Week

This week was a bit of a break from tinkering with Energy Saving Emily. I was catching up on all my other courses and their assessments. I feel like I am starting to wind down the semester at this point in time and starting to lose motivation to work on the build of the final prototype. I think after this week's break I will start working on it again and hopefully finish and finalize the core components.

I managed to do some planning before the Wednesdays studio session. I want to write down the core functionalities I want Emily to show during the demo. Some of the feedback stated I may have overlooked other energy appliances in the home. Which I have and I want to try and implement them as well. I feel at this point temperature is a hard one to monitor and can vary on the season, weather, and users' preference for how they want their home to feel. Below are some of the notes:


Moving Forward

I need to start working on my portfolio code and how I want to present my work on a website. I think I will need to first compile a bunch of photos and videos during the whole project phase. I will need to sketch up text boxes and how each page will look. I also want to get the Text-to-Speech functionality working. To date I have struggled to find a text library that has all the words I want to use.

Inspiration This week

I think this week has been a matter of organizing my calendar and building motivation to finish all my assessment for the semester. I have been looking at Pinterest and scrolling through the many ideas.

Week 10 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 17 May 2020, 7:13 pm
Modified: Sun 17 May 2020, 7:13 pm

This Week


At the end of the week, I was given appraisals from three different teams: Hi-Distinction, Botherhood and Garfunckel. The feedback was very well recieved for my prototype and what my overall concept was. Some pros for my concept was that most teams thought it was suitability and creativity wise, the concept suits the goal very well, the teams agreed that we would see themselves using it if they were to try to minimise energy consumption at home, the result would certainly be effective.

Some feedback regarding the temperature comparison came up too. Something I did not think about was different seasons. Should consider at summer or winter, the normal user wants their room to be more warm or cool?

Some negatives inregards to Emily is that it is still lacking some playfulness. The teams recommended getting more touch pad to work and have the LED colours changing based on the temperature.

With this feedback on board, I will try and implement some changes and see if I can get some more users to test my solution. I hope to also improve on the lighting and touch sensitivity to make it more user friendly so they hand to place a full hand on the hexagon.

Improving Prototype Build

As part of my final build, I want to make a shell for the hexagons so that I could fit all the wiring behind the hexagons and make it neat and tidy. I have also done this design so that I can race the 3D printed hexagons making more surface area for the user to touch and easily put more force behind their touch. Below are some progress pictures of this.

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Next Steps

I am going to look into creating multiple touchpads in the form of a game. I am also going to work on the lighting in the hexagons and see if I can get them to change colours and patterns a little different. I am also implementing the speaker and vibrating motor.

Inspirations for this week

This game inspired me this week. As I was thinking of what colour-touch game can I try and incorporate into Emily, this popped into my head. I am going to try and see if I can add a small sequence, where the user has to touch the panels in order to turn off Emily, based on LED colour. The hard thing is I will have to do this with only 3 hexagons as that's the length of neopixels lights I have left.


Week 10 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 13 May 2020, 4:05 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 8:09 am

This Week

Over the weekend I put together my demo video for my initial prototype. This was a big effort finding the space to present my work and being able to edit this and put this together in the form of a video. After that was submitted on Monday, I have had a bit of a break from working on my prototype.

Today we sat down as a team to discuss our allocated team's appraisals.

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We worked well together as a team to stay connected via Zoom and talk about each of the individual's videos and reports and give relevant and constructive feedback to them. Rather than doing this individually which how it is done most the time in DECO it was good to hear the other thoughts from my team members and be able to put this together in the form of a comment to benefit the individual.

I also received my speaker in the mail which I was going to add to my build. This would form as the voice for Emily and she can start talking to the users in their home. She would also say some annoying things to the users if they were not turning off the fans or air-con. I have had a little play around with it so far. Whilst I was playing around with the speaker and looking up tutorials I came across these hexagon paddle pop structures in my Pinterest feed. This instantly gave me the idea of framing my current hexagons in this and this would also allow me to hide the wiring and Arduino board behind it.

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The hexagons are easy to make after watching a few videos and I think I will be able to play around with the overall form of Emily and how I can attach this to a wall, with minimal wire hanging out.

Week 9 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Fri 8 May 2020, 1:14 pm

More Progress

Today I finished up debugging some of the code and finalized the prototype look so I can do some physical testing on it. The main issue with it at the moment is deciding an object (person) within a certain range and then starting the monitoring process. This distance has had to change from my normal computer working station to when it's installed on a wall. Before I can do any physical user testing I have to make sure this distance is set up properly.

At the moment I have set up the two hand sensors on the front, in an obvious place for the user to be able to touch and deactivate the vibrating alarm. An interesting finding that came out of this was that the vibrations can be felt through the wall it is attached too. Adding to the annoying effect and making the user's attention directed toward it.

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For now I have all the wires and things exposed, I need to figure out how I will hide this within the build of the prototype.

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Next Steps

I will get some family members and close friends to have a play with the prototype over the weekend. Hopefully, I gain insightful feedback from them and be able to improve and modify the build. I also need to film the demo video this weekend.

Week 9 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 6 May 2020, 7:25 pm

Progress This Week

I was not happy with the touch sensitivity and the output/input I was getting with my previous touch bar. I have been struggling to get a consistent touch reading from the copper tape which is hooked up to the Arduino.

So this afternoon I had a good look at some tutorials and how they have connected the wires to see if that was my issue. Turns out I needed to have the actual copper wire exposed a little more and to ensure that is connected to the tape. After some more testing, I then started to have better readings and it makes it easier for the user to touch the panels.

I also decided to change the shape of them to little handprints. This makes it a more obvious action and the user can interpret the icon as touch. Eventually, in my final design, I want to make this imbedded in the plastic, but for now, this will have to do.


I also managed to finally get all my code work simultaneously. Meaning the lights will turn on and the user is able to touch the panels at the same time to turn it off. For the last few weeks, this has been an issue I was dealing with as the loop would run my different functions separately. Turns out you have to remove the delays in the functions and its better to use them in the main loop. I also learnt about a new function called millis() this is a better alternative to delay()


I need to start planning my demo video. Install my prototype to a wall and make sure all the functionality still works the same.

Week 8 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 3 May 2020, 9:39 am

More Building Progress

I continued building the prototype this weekend. I have decided to go with two hexagons to user test and refine Emily for this first phase. I got the ultrasonic sensor attached as well to check if someone is in close proximity to Emily. When the person is, Emily will begin to measure temperature and compare it against the actual outside temp. As you can see I have the red and green light working.

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I conducted some user feedback testing as well on the weekend. My friend was able to play around with Emily and see it functionality so far. She suggested that I could add other controls that hang off the installation. Such as a gimble of some sort to shake and twist to turn off Emily when she is unhappy. She also suggested adding a speaker inside the hexagon and this could act as a voice. This was some good initial feedback and its things I will take into consideration.

I also need to figure out how to make the conductive touch hide underneath the lid of the hexagon. Just so it looks tidier. I also need to figure out where I will place the ultrasonic sensor and temperature sensor in the installation. As this will all be placed on the wall in a home.

Inspo for this week

My inspiration for this week is the LED chase the light effect. After talking to my teammates, it was suggested that this little game could be something that is played to switch Emily off. I thought this would be a great idea to incorporate and it would be annoying as well for the user. I also want to keep in mind my target audience and how this would be perceived towards them. Would it be something they are interested in?

Week 8 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Tue 28 April 2020, 1:16 pm

This Week

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.

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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.

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Next Steps

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.

Week 7 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 22 April 2020, 1:21 pm

My Concept & Focus

The prototype’s focus is “create an Energy Saving Emily device that has interactions to annoy the user whilst positively change their behaviours and mindset to become more efficient in the home”.

“Emily” takes the perspective that adults have forgotten or are now too busy with their work lifestyles that they have forgotten the basics of being energy conscious. The device animates, illuminates and provides feedback to the users. “Emily” is a physical fixture in the home and something that cannot be put to the side by the users. Energy Saving Emily is to be an essential fixture in the home that continuously monitors, interacts and improves the energy efficiency in the home.


Ideal Finished Product

*This was described in detail in my Week 7 Part 1 Post

This would look like wall decor in the house and will not be too invasive but will annoy people once it activates. I have decided to build my prototype in two parts. The focus of my prototype will be on Temperature in the house. Emily will monitor the temperature, weather, and air-con usage. And moderate if there are energy savings.

Further Resources

For this project, I think it would have been better working together as a complete team towards one final prototype. I am finding now there are so many elements to this prototype I want to have worked and it just will not be possible with the time and resources and the current situation we are all in. I would have loved to have a second arduino or multiple so that I can have various components of the prototype work on different arduino and that I can combine all aspects. I would have also liked to have access to a 3D printer to print some more artifacts that will come in handy for testing. Right now I am struggling on how to incorporate the temperature element into the prototype. With temperature, I want to be able to monitor the whole house and check for various things. For example if a door is closed or windows open, the temperature of a room, air-con on or off. I am not sure at this stage how i am going to detect these things from using my arduino. Right now I am thinking of putting in placeholder data, so that I can test the main functionalities of the prototype and test for user interactions.

Week 7 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Mon 20 April 2020, 3:21 pm
Modified: Wed 22 April 2020, 12:37 pm

This Week

This week I worked on building my prototype and modelling it based on my user research conducted thus far.


As seen in the image below, I have planned out what I want my prototype to look like. I decided on a pattern of hexagons for the main installation. This would look like wall decor in the house and will not be too invasive but will annoy people once it activates. I have decided to build my prototype in two parts. The focus of my prototype will be on Temperature in the house. Emily will monitor the temperature, weather, and air-con usage. And moderate if there are energy savings.

Part 1:

This build will mainly concentrate on the physical look of Emily along with the lights, colours, sounds and vibrations. This part of the build will also include the sensors and how it will sense if there is someone in the house and annoy them. I have decided that there will be two conditions.

Good - Emily will appear green IF the household is being energy efficient and there is no excessive aircon usage based on weather conditions in and outside the home.

Bad - Emily will begin to annoy the user by flashing red, vibrating on the wall and making sounds until a user walks past and interacts with it. The only way it can be shut off is if the user touches all the hexagons. Once it is shut off, Emily will wait 10 minutes before checking the house conditions again and moderating if the user has changed their behaviour, IF NOT then it REPEATS annoyance.

I have started to code this behaviour and have them function with the lights. This can be seen in the image below. However, that was the last of my ARDUINO! I ended frying the board as I plugged in the power lead. This was a mistake as I was trying to get more power to make the lights brighter. But after some more research and looking at the power lead i used, the Arduino cannot take 12V and yeah....

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The body of my prototype is mainly built, I 3D printed some hexagons with covers so that they can be fitted to a wall. The colour of the hexagons was chosen as white so that the light can be seen through. I also bought a line of LED lights to fit inside the hexagons. I just need to figure out how to make the led long enough so the prototype can sit on a wall and my breadboard and Arduino rest on a table or something.

Part 2:

This part will focus on the "Temperature" variable of the house. I am going to have to use a temperature sensor and some sort of method to check if door or windows have been left open. I also need to figure out how to incorporate a weather app to allow for comparisons.

Next Steps

I am going to continue on my prototype once I have my hands on the loan Arduino from uni. In the meantime, I am researching how to user the sensors for touch and how I can incorporate that into the hexagon. I am also continuing on the report that needs to be submitted along with the research and process I have taken.

Mid-Sem Progress

Rhea Albuquerque - Thu 16 April 2020, 8:53 am

Week's Progress

This break I tried to get some work done to catch up and ease the workload off my schedule for later on. I ended up deciding on the 3 further discovery methods I would use to gain more insight into my target users and how my prototype would work. This can be seen in the diagram below with some explanations for each method and how and what I will be working for.


I also decided to use Miro to plot some of my research and discoveries. I find this was a useful took and I was able to fill it all in through this. This week I thought I would start off with the online forums area. I have had a lot of time this week to sit online and scroll through Facebook pages, online blogs, and forums. I found some useful information and this can be seen below in the mind maps.

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I hope by the end of the week I will start to create my actual prototype. I want to use my other discovery method - Virtual interviews and Surveys for when I have a part of my prototype working and I can gain further feedback to refine it.

Week 6 Part 3

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 12 April 2020, 8:10 pm

This Weeks Inspirations

I came across these modular hexagon lights which can be installed in the home.

I found them inspiring as I wanted to draw on the main feature behind it and try and apply it to my Energy Saving Emily prototype. The main feature of the heliotouch is the lights and the touch feature. Users have the ability to touch and change the lighting patterns instantly.

I want to utitlize the touch feature and make that part of Emily. So if a user is not being energy efficient they have to touch the hexagon panel to turn off the annoying features that is alarming.

Week 6 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Sat 11 April 2020, 11:30 am

Initial planning and designing

I decided to build on my ideas and concept as discussed in my individual section in the proposal report. I have decided on the methods for research and interviews to gain a better insight into what physical interaction I can add to my prototype and how they will relate to the target audience I have chosen. This can all be seen below.

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I have also had a think about how I want the final prototype to look and feel. Based on some old 3D printed shapes I have at home. I want to utilize them to create the Energy Saving Emily device. As discussed in my section of the report, I want Emily to be a physical installation in the home and something that can always be looked at and interacted with. As you can see I want it to be something that can potentially blend into the decor of the home and be something nice and beautiful but if the household members are not being energy efficient it will turn into something loud, and potentially annoying.


Next Steps

This next week I plan on conducting all my research and user surveying and research. I hope to compile this all then feed this into the design of my prototype.

I hope to also have a play with my Arduino and start to see what I can create and to what extent.

Week 6 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 8 April 2020, 2:31 pm

Studio Session

Today's studio session was an interesting one. We learned about new ways for methods of delivery. The exercise looked at "Observing People on a Train" and how we would do this given out current situation. This was a good look into what we are going to face for our own projects and possible methods we can use to overcome the challenges of not being able to conduct testing, surveying, observations in person.


The picture above is what I added to the Miro board. This was the first time I had used Miro and I was quite impressed with what it can do and its capabilities of collaboration and thinking as a team.

My team later had a live brainstorming session where we jotted down and broke our project down into various subcategories. This helped us think about which components we would keep similar across each of our projects and potentially things we wanted to explore individually.


My next step for this exercise is to map out my own project and this will better help me understand my goals for my project and what I want to achieve through it. I am still unsure about how I want my final project to look but I have an idea of the technologies and interactions I want it to have.

Week 5 Part 3

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 5 April 2020, 10:41 am

This Week:

I am currently working on developing the direction I want to take for my concept and how it will relate to the team domain. In the image below you can see some of my brainstorming and mapping of ideas. A lot of the research and context of the team’s original idea was aimed towards households with children and the average family. Based on the background and related work for this problem space, I would like to focus my exploration on homes and households with just adults. So this relates to partners, couples, or housemates living together. It was found through research that children have the most influence on their parents within the home as children learn about being environmentally friendly and sustainable in schools. I want to take the perspective that adults have forgotten or are now too busy with their work lifestyles that they have forgotten the basics of being energy conscious and the Energy Saving Emily device will assist with that.


I have also had a look into the resources and things I have at home which can come in handy when creating and constructing my prototype. I ended up finding some old 3D printed hexagons and strips of LEDs. I thought this could be useful for creating some of the interactions.

I have also been having a play with my arduino and seeing what sensors I can use. I found a PIR sensor which is used for motion. IT is primarily used in outside lights, so when someone walks past the light will turn on. I thought this could be an interesting sensor to use as this could be used to annoy people in my domain. For example every time someone walks past Emily, an annoying sound plays only if they are not being energy efficient.

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Work to Do:

For the next week, I have to finish my individual section for the report. I also need to have a good look into what I want my product to look like and what technology I want to see in it. I want to conduct some user surveys or testing regarding sounds or things that annoy people with technology.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me:

I found this Customisable World Clock creation that can be done with Arduino.

I thought this was a good DIY home project to do while at home. It was something quite simple to make and I think I might incorporate some of the features into my own individual creation.

Week 5 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Thu 2 April 2020, 11:22 am
Modified: Thu 2 April 2020, 11:23 am

Studio this week

This week our team started working on the report that is due next week. We had a team discussion in the studio session to talk over feedback, the pathways we wanted to go with the concept and possible technologies we could implement in the final solution.

We had a good discussion on how we would go about individually continuing in the concept space. We decided we would all have our own take on the final form but work together as a team to work out functionalities and features.

I am also working the background research related to our concept space. I am looking into the topics of People and Technology, Human Behaviours & Attitudes and Saving Energy in the Home. I have done a fair bit of research on People and technology and the use of it in the home. It was interesting reading that most people would trust smart device if it were user friendly, proved to be reliable and was marketed well towards them. I think this was an interesting article to come across, as I personally sometimes struggle to put my trust in smart devices. I have a Google Home at home and we have decided not to use it any more as it started interrupting our conversations at it started listening to keywords in our conversations. As a family at home, we found this creepy and turned it off. I guess initially I bought the Google Home because it was marketed really well for use in the home, it show how it can make life more convenient and easy to access and control parts of your home. But after use and having it in the home it proved to be a nuisance.

The graphs below show some of the interesting statistics found in a study in the UK.

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Plan for the Week

For the rest of the week, I plan to continue on my team section of the report and have that finished to allow the team to check and proofread any of the information. I also need to start brainstorming and thinking about my individual section and the form of my prototype and what I want to get out of it. Additionally, over the weekend I hope to start collecting some recyclable items that I can use to prototype with my Arduino. This should keep me busy while being stuck at home :)

Week 5 Part 1

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 29 March 2020, 10:12 am

New Concept and New Team

On Wednesday I got put into a new team. Really lucky to have been accepted into a team that is doing a project I am interested in and has so much scope.

The Theme: Every day people are becoming more aware of the impact that their energy usage at home has on their bills and the environment. With the growing attention, users are gradually making efforts to change their energy consumption ways, however, this can be quite tricky when users are surrounded with luxuries such as air conditioning, high definition TVs and unlimited clean water.

Currently, their idea is to have a sphere-shaped object to bounce around, make noise and basically annoy the user until they make a change. They intend on using NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT to change these behaviours and make people more aware.

Below is some of the brainstorming and research I have done over the weekend based on their feedback from critiques and notes from their pitch presentation.

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Research Links:

Week 4 Part 3

Rhea Albuquerque - Thu 26 March 2020, 8:59 am

Work that Inspired/Interested Me:

I came across this page called Trend Hunter.

It has all sorts of trends, art installations and interactive things that people have made. One particular on that interested me was the Interactive Glowing Globes Installation. Peru-based energy company Endesa must have had a rocking holiday party thanks to the DJ Lights installation. Created just for them, this interactive art installation responds to body movements with light and sound, making each individual their own DJ.

I was inspired by this has it meets all the criteras for our project: being playful, interactive and engages with a lot of people. This concept would be interesting to incorporate into a musical themed idea or even education and learning different colours or sounds.

Week 4 Part 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 25 March 2020, 8:09 am
Modified: Wed 25 March 2020, 8:10 am

The Work Done:

This week was a long one for me. I found out that all of my team was dropping the course due to all the changes. I was quite stressed out and panicking as I had to then take the research and effort we all put in from our first meeting to create a pitch of some sort. I decided to go with a live pitch as I did not have time to put a video together. I decided I would not heavily on the research at this point in time as I did not have enough time to do it in depth by myself. I decided to focus on the implementation of the idea and how it would work and with what technologies. Below is some of the planning and props I used to do so.

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After I had decided on how I wanted to pitch I put a slide pack together along with a script so that I could present on Tuesday morning.

How it Relates:

Presenting on Tuesday morning via slack LIVE was a whole new experience. It was a weird concept not being able to see anyone or visually see how they were reacting to the idea. I think I presented my pitch quite well, considering being a solo team. I did have some interesting and useful feedback that should help navigate me through conceptually narrowing down this idea and designing it. At the end of my slide pack I asked three questions:

  1. Is AR Technology a suitable choice?
  2. Do you expect people to be inclined to learn from a simulation like this?
  3. Are there any other functions you would like to see in this?

And I received some valid feedback to guide me in the right direction. To quote some:

“Combining the sound with other technology (AR) can simulate the emergency scenarios and offer them a better learning experience. When use the phone as nav tool, I think you could take users’ different physical conditions into consideration.”

“In terms of immersion, I would argue that VR is a better option as AR lacks the same sense of depth. If that is important to the concept that is.”

“I think it would be better to focus on who you are designing for? For children/elderly people, how to teach them use the new tech... For others, how ar can better their immersive experience would be a tricky part…”

“Using Extend Reality in a home-setup will create a more immersive environment, as users are more familiar in their own environment. It will be much easier for them to practice fire evacuation plans”

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Work to Do:

Based on the constructive feedback my next steps in this process is to identify the target audience, narrow down on the concept and pick the technologies I will use and for what features. I need to see if there is a way for the person to navigate around without use a phone. Everyone likes the idea of sounds to move around but I think this needs more interaction so it becomes more immersive. Someone mentioned using the heart rate as a way to make the simulation harder or easier depending on what theirs HR is. This is an interesting this to incorporate and I guess this will make people more aware of their surroundings.

Week 4 - Team Discussions for Pitch

Rhea Albuquerque - Tue 17 March 2020, 3:28 pm

Our team had a ZOOM meeting on Monday to discuss our ideas and try and consolidate a concept for our pitch proposal. Our topic is creative learning and we decided to break down the topic into various educational themes. For example: music, learning, sports, brain training, motor skills, language, STEM etc. As a team we broke off over last weekend and started to brainstorm some of our own individual ideas for the topics to then bring back to the team.

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During the meeting we had some very good discussions on various ideas, merging of some ideas and technologies to make a super concept. From the gathered brainstorm of ideas and inspirations we narrowed it down to two ideas: “Save the House” and “Deep Diving Simulator”. The fire safety concept was suggested as an essential skill, but knowledge of how to effectively put out fires is not always taught. The idea is an installation which teaches people how to safely put out fires depending on the type of fire. The idea is intended to be a fun experience and can implement a collaborative nature like the game overcooked, where a team must effectively communicate to out fires. Fires would be simulated using lighting systems, and the users would have a set of physical tools to help them put out fires. For this idea i suggested we could use auditory navigations to enhance the experience of the user and immerse them in a fire scenario. We all agreed it would be a great idea to create scenarios using our other senses than sight.

The deep diving simulator was suggested first as an educational tool to teach divers how to hold their breath before they begin diving. But then after some careful discussion and other topics about climate change and environmental issues coming up we thought this would be interesting to teach the general public about diving in the Great Barrier Reef but they don't actually have to dive there. This installation aims to be a diving simulator and aims to train one of the most crucial techniques of diving, breathing and a consistent heart rate. This could be used in conjunction with a VR headset to truly immerse the users in the underwater world. It would be a good thing for tourism and reducing footprint on the reef.

After much discussion we decided to go with the Fire Safety theme and try and flesh that out some more. Over the next week we are all tasked with doing some background research on fire safety, causes of fires, Statistics, Strategies of extinguishing fires, Previous installations or ways of spreading this information. We also want to look into possible technologies we could use for tracking, simulation and existing attempts.

pitch week 4

Week 3

Rhea Albuquerque - Thu 12 March 2020, 8:24 am

This week!:

This week was big! We did some major brainstorming with all the themes in the World Cafe activity. We also had a chat with Bash who is a graduate living in the UK. Finally at the end of Wednesday's session we met our teams.

Video Chat:

Hearing from Bash and how he has made a life for himself in the UK was interesting to hear. As a soon to be graduate it was rewarding to hear some advice on life after uni and how to get jobs. One thing that stood out for me from what he was talking about was building a brand for yourself and using your unique qualities to make you stand out from everyone else. The activity where we had to write 50 words about our self was a good one. My last word was confidence. This words means to me being able to do any task with confidence and efficiency. Without needing to rely on others.

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Meeting the team:

I also got to meet my team this week. I have never worked with the guys on my team but I think we have enough diversity, skills and creativity to design and develop a prototype for the exhibition. In preparation for our pitch next week, the team has decided to go away and brainstorm at least 3 ideas to pitch to the team. As a team we will go through each concept and vote on one to move forward with. On Monday we intend on meeting and creating the poster and presentation for Tuesday's contact. My ideas:

Title: What's in Things

Idea: On the basis of STEM, children will interactively explore what materials, metals, minerals everyday objects are made of. Combining the balance ball idea but use it as a wheel of fortune type thing. Where the disk is divided into 12 or however many sectors - each one being an element from periodic table. An image will show eg Car and they have to figure out what elements a car is made of whilst balancing.

Title: How patient are you?

Idea: Using the pressure pads and technology, people are able to see how patient they are and improve on their waiting skills. Kids are generally really impatient and this game will test to see how they are. Using a maze people are able to move only downward whilst pushing down on a pad. Obstacles come in the way every so often eg. a turtle crossing the road, or maybe an elderly person asking a question (could be a random physical phone that has a speaker and they have to answer?), or having to wait in line for groceries. Basically a timeline and the pressure is how fast they move through the various tasks and complete them.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me:


Liquid MIDI is an experimental textile interface for sonic interactions, exploring aesthetics and morphology in contemporary design. The technology is screen printed directly onto a textile surface, then through an Arduino micro controller communicates with the desired software, using MIDI protocol. This unique interaction with this textile interface allows the medium to become part of the message, where the interface becomes part of the process of creation itself.

Week 3 - World Cafe

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 11 March 2020, 10:01 am

World Cafe Activity

Today we all participated in the world cafe activity. It looked at the various themes developed along with inspiration concepts attached to those themes. The first part of the exercise looked at sitting down at a table with a theme and discussing various aspects of the theme with the others at the table. I first sat at the table with musical things. I found this theme interesting because it took the physical interaction of playing an instrument and invoking it with another physical action. It was interesting to see that the inspirational concepts were divided into public and individual interactions. I quite like the boxing pad and the fountain idea. I thought this idea involved both exercise and music and that it an engaging activity to have. This idea could be a new fad or exercise regime which can encourage people to make music while working out, learning how to make music or workout to a beat.

This musical things concept could also be used in an educational situation. For children trying to refine their motor skills or learn about different sounds. The music box would be great for this as it had leavers which children could turn and create sound. It could also be gameified to ensure engagement.


Another theme I sat down at was the Ability-centric interactions I found this theme quite interesting. One of the ideas that came out of the Part 3 activity was a maze that the user has to go in blind (without the sense of sight) and navigate their way around the maze. The group I had also suggested obstacles and tasks the personal would have to complete without that particular sense. I found this would be an engaging physical interaction to have and can be used in so many different scenarios.

I found this world cafe activity very helpful in understanding and fleshing out the various themes I was interested in. By being able to talk to others asking their opinions on ideas, target audiences possible realisation for the idea to come to life was useful.



Week 2

Rhea Albuquerque - Wed 4 March 2020, 6:11 pm
Modified: Wed 4 March 2020, 6:12 pm

The Work Done:

This week was quite big and required a bit of thinking to get my first ideation inspiration out. I sat down on the weekend and really did some brainstorming on different topics, concepts, technologies and what products are out there already. I attached a few of my mind maps to the first concept post, so that can be viewed there.


This week I also finished the bulk of my inductions completing the soldering and space induction. I have now completed my box and light and it has come together quite nicely.

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How it Relates:

I had my pitch presentation on Tuesday morning, and I think it went alright. My concept was quite different to others and it received some mixed feedback when going through the critiques. Some things I did not take into account the concept of promoting violence and hitting. I saw it more as a fun, playful interaction as the Smash Rooms were quite cool to look at. But maybe the age group we are designing for this may not be a thing. Below are some of the critiques I made.


I participated in the theming session on Tuesday. It was quite interesting to see that alot of the themes that came out of the exercise were stress, mental health, education and overall wellness. I guess these are HOT topics in today's society and are very important for overall happiness.

Work to Do:

Over the weekend and before next week’s session I am going to think about some pitches that stood out to me and how I can turn them into a cool project idea. I think this will help me go into next week's World Cafe session.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me:

This art installation inspired me this week. I came across it on my Pinterest feed. Its called “Giant Lite Brite For School Project Gallery”. It's a really cool installation that uses different coloured light on a massive wall to create imagery and artwork. It's made of acrylic and it is quite easy to make. I think it would be really cool to see this incorporated into one of the colour theme inspiration concepts. It has physically movable pieces and intereactions. It can be used to show emotion or encourage play. Could even be used to educate colour theory as one of the pitch’s this week mention that.



Project Inspiration - SMASH IT

Rhea Albuquerque - Sun 1 March 2020, 6:39 pm

Concept: SMASH IT - Relieving stress without making a mess, allowing you to smash, hit or break objects without making a mess!


Allowing humans to relieve stress, anger, frustration that can come from a work environment, school/university or family situation. Using a non-destructive way allows people to smash, hit, bang, squash physical objects with force. This is then captured and displayed on a screen.


Using everyday home objects, people can destroy them and this can relieve the stress or angry feelings. Some people enjoy breaking things and this is a perfect way to do so without making a mess and doing it safely.

The objects will be made of a malleable, sturdy foam that can pass the force through without actually destroying the object. There will be conductive sensors that can pick up the force and then translate this onto the screen. The screen will be gameified and the more an action is done the more red blocks will appear. It will be level-based.

  • For stressed, angry individuals who want an alternate way of relieving their stress
  • Non- destructive
  • Playful and gamification
  • Can be done in the home or in public (depends which is more entertaining)
  • Visualisation of the stress or anger
  • Can result in a happier state of mind
  • Safe Environment
Concept Sketch:


I drew my inspiration from a few different sources. They can be found in the image below along with the links as well. After some ideation and mind mapping of different things I could create a concept on I settled on the idea of human wellbeing and happiness. Using technology in a playful way to improve human happiness can be important in this day and age as it's all around us. And a message I took away from the HCI exercise - Human-Centered Symbiosis. Technology has to be integrated seamlessly into our lives to improve it. If it's not working for us in a purposeful way then why have it. It has to be beneficial and what better way to do that with happiness and ensuring we all have a good mental state.

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Smash Splash -

Rage Room -

Stress Relief -

Stress Relief Products -

#stressrelief #work #wellbeing


Rhea Albuquerque - Sat 29 February 2020, 3:10 pm

Week 1

The Work Done:

This week was the first week of physical computing. The week was full on requiring a lot of attention for the 5 hour contact sessions. I did however, learn quite a bit for what I am in for and how to approach the course. This week we looked at interactive digital designs/concepts that are currently out there or in ideation. As a team we discussed these, this exercise was also a good icebreaker as I do not know many people in the course and it was good talking to others.

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The second session looked at the HCI Grand Challenges. My section was Human Technology Symbiosis. As a group we discussed potential issues, challenges, benefits and opportunities to do with it. An interesting one for me was safety and how technology as subconsciously made us more safe to the point where we don't even have to think about it. In cars for example, sensors are used to break or let us know if cars are in the blind spot when changing lanes. This is a potential issue which can be dangerous as we put all our trust into technology to keep us safe.

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The second exercise for the session was the Design Activity using playing cards with various categories. Our first design category was - “Design for youth in an art gallery, using sound with the quality of nomadic”. This was an interesting piece of subject matter and a view of the technology design can be seen below.


Work to Do:

Based on the work completed in the Design Activity, I feel this has given me a good base to work on my first piece of assessment - for the idea pitch. Over the weekend I will create an A3 poster which imagery and context for my idea along with an explanatory post.

Work that Inspired/Interested Me:

I found the WIM interactive stroke therapy ball quite interesting as it was a piece of UX/UI technology used to help people with health and wellbeing. Almost like gamified therapy which allows rehabilitation to be a little more pleasant and fun for patients. I would like to incorporate a bit of human reality into my design as I feel technology should be designed to help people and make their lives a little more interesting.


Welcome to my Blog

Rhea Albuquerque - Tue 25 February 2020, 1:39 pm


I'm in my final semester of BChemical Engineering and BInfoTech. I am quite interested in automation and AI technology and I hope to develop and learn more about those technology in this course and outside.

I am quite an organised person and excellent team player and hope to use my skills and expertise to develop and build a playful physical interaction using technology.

Hopefully, I get to meet most of you throughout the semester if not welcome to my blog and you will follow my journey through the course!