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Digital Cardboard

Benjamin Chao

Hacking personal technology device and services, making them more whimsical.

Everyday we carry around with us personal technology devices that help us function, allow us to communicate with others, and facilitate us to do our job. For all the digital functionality we access, there is a physical counterpart to it: people can listen to music from their iPods to block off noise pollution, or alternatively cover their ears with their hands. This project is about finding the medium between these two forms and behaviors, creating something that is both useful and playful, both digital and physical.

Product designers, toy designers, children, people who like to hack things, instructables.

User Scenario
One of the devices I want to create are headphones sewn into a pair of gloves, connected to your iPod. When you cover your ears with your hands, music plays. The harder you press your hands, the louder the music plays, blocking everything out from your head except.

This is an exploration of both digital and physical crafts. The digital craft entails creating software systems to make my prototype work, repurposing commercial hardware, and hacking digital devices. The physical craft includes creating the physical form for these objects, using cloth, paper, glue, yarn, all things associated with traditional arts and craft.

My approach towards this project is really like how any person would approach a typical arts and craft project. It took long hours of refinement of specific skills, either hacking, sewing, writing and testing software. The most important thing is to start by choosing a technology and form that one is interested in. As one explores deeper, often times the need to explore into another field arises, and so does inspiration for other projects. The process is the project.