Since February, we have been in contact with an individual with severe motion and speech constraints and partial blindness. This individual has never had the capacity to write an email without the assistance of others. He loves jazz and NPR, but has no consistent access.
Having the chance to design with a specific person in mind is a beautiful opportunity. Constraints take on greater importance. Expectations are raised.
We began by creating a simple piece of software that, with the use of a web cam, allows a user to open browser targets with a swipe of the hand across two regions on a screen.
As of April 23, we now have a rudimentary gesture interface for the Kinect that allows Winston (or any user with a kinect hooked up) to open and scroll through itunes with up or down hand motions. This is just the beginning: a full scale gestural alphabet is the goal.
Erica is taking the project to Makerfaire in San Francisco at the end of May.
Create an interface that allows Winston to have more autonomy in his day-to-day life. Specifically, the ideal goal was to create a system for him to compose emails without the help of an aide.
-Geography – hard to test consistently
-has to be PC-based
-Winston has limited vision and poor movement
-What does Winston like?
-What can we provide Winston access to that he currently doesn’t have access to?
-Focusing in on a few possible deliverables
Create a scalable system with simple gestures
-Kinect/camera: A simple gestural navigation system utilizing the right and left arms that would allow Winston to launch an interface and use a number of preselected applications
-Xylophone-like interface: incorporate color and sound into mapped quadrants
-Physical interface: A board with wireless connection to Winston’s computer that has four or so physical buttons, whether they come in the form of FSRs or a multi-touch screen
-Making buttons dynamic to account for user testing
-Two initial targets in mind: NPR and iTunes
-Camera lighting issues. Adjusting threshold.
-Are the buttons easy to reach? How will Winston’s gestures translate?
- Will a gestural system tire him out?
-How scalable is the button system for other applications?
Webcam-based motion tracking with 2 colored buttons on screen, each controlling a different function in iTunes.
-Back to the Kinect:
-Turns out Winston’s computer can handle it
-We need depth
-Initial target is, again, iTunes
-Keep it simple with 4 directional gestures
(up, down, left, right). Directions are more scalable than buttons: can be put into different combinations as we expand the software for use with other applications
You are a partner in a company, with a starting amount of shares. To win, you need to get the most money, but the only way to do so is to go on value- increasing endeavors. The trick is, you have to document everything you do with pictures and post it to the TradeThem Exchange on Twitter. Companies get a Synergy Bonus when all members go on an endeavor together. Endeavors can be as day-to-day as brushing your teeth (and getting a photo of it!), more involved (ex. bringing food to ITP for fellow students or supporting your friend at an event,) or totally silly; the sky’s the limit.
Players can create their own Endeavors: Partners from other companies then determine the value of the endeavor by choosing to trade up or down on companies in the Exchange. The game calls for behaviors to emerge over the course over a week. An interactive Leader Board keeps people involved in the play-by-play. The hope is that “value” becomes generative in unexpected ways, and players immerse themselves in engaging tasks of one-upsmanship. Though you might say the game is about capitalism, the actual play promotes team work and engagement in the wider student community at ITP.
Battle of the Block Parties: Game by Eric Hagan, Steven Klise, Becky Kazansky, Allison Walker, Meghan Hoke
Your neighborhood wants to throw a block party, and all the other neighborhoods do too! The problem is, you have to control 8 block points to have your party. Compete in challenges against other neighborhoods for enough points to have a party!
Battle of the Block Parties is a team-based game of aquisition. Teams are Neighborhoods that must compete in a mix of physical party-game challenges to get enough blocks on a grid in order to throw a block party. Thanks to good play testing and ruthless tweaking of inadequate game elements, the result of our design process was a classroom filled with sustained periods of hilarity.
It was in the past few weeks that I began to see parallels between the behavior of particles and myself. I asked myself how I would program a self-defeating mechanism. What forces would I use to create it? What threshold would be necessary for a discreet particle to break out of its self-defeating mechanism?
How could this be achieved by an external factor?
How could this be achieved with internal behaviors?
Would this be like a cell-system with globules and mitochondria that through a combination of factors ended up breaking out of the cell wall?
These are questions I would like to pursue for the rest of the semester.
In the meantime, what I managed to create was something a bit more about evolution, you might say. Particles have a lifespan, emit from one point, then propel themselves down a stream weakly attracted to an outside force, “attractor”. The older the particles, the weaker they get, until they reach the end of their lifespan…The attractor is movable. Depending on where you put it, you get a system in which “old” and “new” particles interact more or less. Place it directly over the emitter and the particles stagnate.