Entries - Tag = week7

Week 7

Marie Thoresen - Sun 26 April 2020, 8:12 pm

This week has been focusing on the physical interaction of my prototype. My team decided to divide the prototype into different parts and I was distributed the part where the user throws the ball into the air to send the audio recording previously made and stored within the ball. As mentioned in a previous post, I was also distributed with making the server and client that would make communication between the balls possible, but this was a separate part of my tasks.

The part in the process that I was building comes right after the ball has been shaken and the user has chosen a colour. When the user is satisfied with both the message and the colour to represent it, the user throws the balls upwards and catches it, which tells the code to send the message to the connected user on the other end.


My team and I purchased some components ourselves which was delivered to us last week, among the components we ordered was an accelerometer which was bought especially for my part of the prototype. The first challenge that I came across was the fact that I needed to solder the accelerometer to the pin thing(the one that you need to fasten it to the breadboard) as it wasn't able to get enough contact without and therefore didn't work. After talking to the tutors they were able to provide me with one that was already soldered so I met up with a tutor and got a different one.


Second challenge was the sensitivity of the accelerometer on its own. I used a tutorial which showed me the raw data the chip made but as it turned out it even registered gravity and the reading that was displayed varied constantly even when not touched. Aften finding a tutorial that showed me a library that made more sens of the reading I could code it to react when exceeding a specific number (when I threw the ball up). As I'm inexperienced in this tech I might have understood it or explained it a bit wrong, but as far as I gathered that was the initial problem I experienced.

Since I'm basically done with my part of the concept I'm looking at other ways of interaction and how to make the experience more complex. It is also something that I will discuss with my team in the nearby future.

week7 #prototyping


Kuan Liu - Sun 26 April 2020, 7:29 pm

During the mid-break

Since my project is not just about Arduino modules, but it also related to art crafts or even home improvement stuff. I spent more time than I expected to find the parts to make sure that I didn't miss any components that I need for my project before I place the order. Finally, I got all the stuff figured out and ordered during the mid-break. I thought I would use parts from the hairdryer I disassembled to build the smoke effect, but it turned out that I would still need a multimeter to test the voltage, current, and resistance. Therefore, I can only work on it when all my parts arrived. At the main time, I am still refining the design of the final product. In my earlier ideas, which I wrote in my previous blog, I would want to either build a house or a room; however, after I talked to Allison about my individual concept and input data that I want to collect. Allison suggested an idea of making a terrarium, the representation of the earth, and the ecosystem as a whole. It was a great idea!! I thought about the ecosystem concept before, but I didn't know how to present it in the design.

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Individual Concept

The team concept aims to teach children about global warming and environmental protection. My concept is letting children know that they can be a part of the movement in their daily base by simply turn off the light when they don't use it and be conscious when using water. My individual focus I want to be narrow it down to children's behavior in the household. My plan is to create a smoke-based interaction depends on the data inputs: not turned off the lights and cautious on water usage(this is what I had for now) would trigger the smoke. Moreover, I would like to create an ecosystem that has the soil and the plant like a terrarium. It has a soil moisture sensor to detect the health of the soil, and temperature sensor to measure the temperature degree. The smoke would create when the user forgot to turn off the lights or be cautious using water. How the terrarium works, the lights create the heat, and when the heat rises, it triggered the smoke. The terrarium acts as earth, and smoke would be the effect of bad habits that causes the earth to suffer. I want to show that every action has consequences, and we couldn't undo what we had done. Of course, when a good habit was built, it will give the terrarium waters, plant more seeds, and add more warms.


My ideal finished product

My ideal finished product would be a beautiful terrarium that has plants, grass, and flowers. I want to build a terrarium that has its own ecosystem with all the sensors and detection would work. It's a small version of the earth. All the wires will be hidden in the wooden house, which is built from paddle sticks. However, I haven't built any of the parts, yet this design might change later based on any circumstances that might occur during the prototyping process.

What am I going to do?

In the next few days, I will work on research to find how to teach children about sustainability, primarily focus on the household. It would be helpful if I can find some information about teaching children about sustainability with things that could easily find in the household since I can't have an in-person interview or user testing. To bring the idea across, it would be hard for children to learn without having any probs. As for me, the best and simplest ideas would be teaching them how to do recycling, and any objects at home can be a prob to teach children if it is recyclable or not.

For the next steps, I want to create an interview and survey questions even though I don't have anyone to do the interview yet, but I hope I could find some from my friends' circle. Since working with children was not an easy task, and parents usually are more conscious. I felt it was the hardest task in this project. However, it would be nice to have some understanding of how children are cautious about sustainability at this generation.

week7 #individualconcept

[Midsem & Week 7 - Post 1] - Prototyping

Sigurd Soerensen - Sun 26 April 2020, 9:56 am
Modified: Sat 30 May 2020, 2:01 pm


I didn't get to do a whole lot over midsem as I had to focus on my master thesis. However, during the first weekend, Thomas and I went into the city to find some suitable spheres to work with. The most optimal ball we found was plastic Christmas decorations, as they were both transparent which would let us use lights inside and somewhat squishy to allow for a squish interaction. These balls weren't ideal, but definitely enough for us to get our first prototype up and running given that we aren't going to focus on form and feel for the first prototype. Towards the end of midsem we received our parts in the mail, which at this point had been delayed for about six days. Thomas and I, given that we live in the same household and that we are working on two sides of the same interaction, started to test the parts (SD card reader, microphone, speaker and lights). I had some progress working out a solution with pulsating lights for a notification feature by sending in RBG values through the serial port, simulating the data transferred from another Arduino.

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Week 7

As for the weekend leading up to week seven and until Thursday's workshop, except for the regular stand-up at Tuesday's studio, I spent all my time trying to work out an issue with the SD card reader. Both Thomas and I was working with SD card readers, but none of us was able to make them work. We received some help from Steven and Ben after the workshop which led to us figuring out that the SD card readers had a fault in them so we had to give up on trying to make it work. Steven and Ben suggested that we could look into streaming over serial, make use of a raspberry pi instead or use a computer to simulate the interaction of voice recording and playing the recording. Having looked into the complexity of streaming audio over serial, and not having time to learn a new tool we chose to pursue the option of using JavaScript to record and play audio from the computer-based on input from the Arduino. I tried to look up how I could use JavaScript to record and play audio files, but soon after ended up stuck again not being able to get this to work either. By this point, since I hadn't had a day off in weeks I chose to take a couple of days to rest.


My team chose to work on the same concept and divide it into smaller prototypes that together make a whole concept. The overall concept (E-mories) consists of a basket full of spheres that will double up as an emotional sharing platform and a decoration in the house. Each sphere is capable of recording and playing audio for people to send each other messages. When a user wishes to send a friend a message, they simply pick up a sphere and squeeze it to start recording. When done recording he or she can then shake the sphere to choose a colour corresponding to the mood of the message they are sending. When the user is happy with their combination of message and colour they can throw it up in the air to send the message. On the receiving end in another household, there is an identical basket of spheres. When a message is received a sphere will start to glow in the colour the sender chose to notify the receiver of an incoming message. The receiver can then pick up the sphere to listen to the message. The concept tries to facilitate and encourage positive emotional sharing for people that are unable to meet face-to-face and give them a sense of being closer to each other through a physical platform.

We divided this concept into four parts, where mine revolves around the receiving end of the concept, where I'm looking into how to show a notification of incoming messages and play the audio recording.

In an ideal world, I would say that this concept included more than two senses, as in not only audio or lights. I would like the concept to include deep meaningful memories that people wish to share with one and each other consisting of smell, video, images, sound, touch and more. My personal idea of the concept is for it to contain complex combinations of memories consisting of the above-mentioned factors and for users to be able to build upon old memories with new memories and reflect on their memories together. However, given that we have yet to prototype test our current solution it is difficult to say if this is the correct path to pursue.

midsemester week7 prototyping