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Magazine > Lesson #6

Lesson #6 - 06/12/2011

Conclusion of the Exercise on Motion

After three weeks of working on interactions engaging in motion, it's time to submit our projects that have been displayed in the Museum Since last week, and the reactions from visitors have helped considerably in their development.

Dana Mick, Doron Segal, Shay Merci, David Kantor: Motion Talking

The first group engaged in the connection between motion and sound. Last week they presented a system in which the motions of two people are translated into different voices that speak gibberish at varying speeds in accordance with the motion.

On the technical level, the interaction was developed by rewriting a program and using a more advanced algorithm for motion recognition. These improvements are evident in the added control felt by those who try out the interaction. On the design level, they decided not to limit the interaction to two people, but to enable a single person to experience it as well. Additionally, experiments were carried out with the choice of voices produced.

Roni Rosen, Omer Ben-Naim, Itay Kurgan: How High?

Design Lab | Interactive Design | HIT

The second group drew its initial inspiration from graffiti art and enhanced the participation of body and motion in creating the mark on the wall. In the interaction system, an image of a brick wall is projected onto the wall. When a person jumps in the projection area, his silhouette is frozen on the wall.

To prolong the interaction and make it interesting for a longer period of time, the group offers a game with the frames of the images as well as the possibility of adding and layering one image onto another.

Design Lab | Interactive Design | HIT

Dina Rubanovitch Even-Paz, Osher Shukrun, Shahar Yaacoby: Crazy Betty
The group introduces us to Betty: a small black-sphered creature with an antenna that is positioned on a track and reacts to the movements of people nearby. When you come close to Betty she draws away, and when you draw away from her, she draws closer and then moves right and left to attract attention.

Design Lab | Interactive Design | HIT

Jenny Bahar, Shmulik Mauda, Aviad Fux: Body Language

This group engaged in human typography. Two people are invited to come onto the stage and create letters with their bodies. Their position is recognized by a camera and the computer translates the human letter into a letter on the screen.

A sound has been added to this interaction to indicate how long the position needs to be held, as well as enhancements to the program to make the system work more stably and reliably in relation to the lighting conditions in the Lab.

Design Lab | Interactive Design | HIT

Flickering Lights

Most of the groups discovered the importance of environmental conditions at the location, and correct calibration of the system when using cameras. Adding or reducing light, reflections, shadows, the materials from which the walls and floor are made, and even the colors of the users' clothes, all influence the system's behavior and require thought and attention.

Another important conclusion is that the technical and conceptual developments have to progress simultaneously in order to ultimately achieve the best possible result.

Introducing Arduino

In the second part of the lesson we're introduced to a new tool called Arduino. It is an electronic component that combines digital and analog input and output channels with a local processor and RAM. The program for the component is written on a computer and transferred to Arduino by means of a USB cable. After transferring the program to the component, there is no need for a computer connection and it can function independently.

The different input/output channels facilitate a variety of uses:

- Digital input - indicator switches.
- Digital output - closing electrical circuits, lighting LED lamps.
- Analog input - indicator sensors, including color sensor, height sensor, and digital compass.
- Analog output - motor controls.

To expand the component's functionality, dedicated hardware additions for innumerable uses can be stringed to it, such as: wireless communications, cellular communications, processing and playing music, and much more.

The basic component is available in a large number of different versions in terms of physical size, processor speed, RAM size, and compatibility for special functions. For example, an Arduino component called LilyPad is specifically designed for working with fabric and textiles.

Another feature that distinguishes Arduino stems from the fact that it is an open source platform in character; the principle of "easy-to-use hardware" in conjunction with "easy-to-use software" encourages enthusiasts to use the platform, and consequently there is a large international community of Arduino users who help one another and openly exchange ideas.

As examples of projects, Arduino users show us Snoozy the Sloth, a breathing plush toy, and SOBEaR, a panda bartender who mixes your drink according to the amount of alcohol you've already consumed. We're assured there are additional uses apart from furry animals.

Pay Attention, There's a New Exercise!

The new subject we'll be engaging in is "sound".

As an introduction we're presented with different types of interactions associated with sound:

* Control by means of sound - for example, PAH!, a voice-controlled computer game, and a Japanese designer's project that translates sounds into facial movements by means of electrodes.

* Playing - for example, Air Drums and Piano Stairs.

* Sonification - expressing data in sound, for example a sous-vide cooker.

For the new exercise we have been asked to think of an interaction in which the input is tactile and the output is sound. We're split into new groups, and next week we'll present video prototypes of the chosen interaction and a separate demonstration of the tactile input as proof of feasibility.

Until next time...

Written by David Kantor


- Introduction

- Lesson 1

- Lesson 2

- Lesson 3

- Lesson 4

- Lesson 5

- Lesson 6

- Lesson 7

- Lesson 8

- Lesson 9

- Lesson 10

- Lesson 11

- Lesson 12

- Final Lesson

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