Final project: Bardentity

(Image to be updated)

For my final project, I started with one of my favorite things in the world, eating. After many iteration and communication with professor, it evolves to my final project “Bardentity”, which is more convincing and makes more sense.

I started with some scattered ideas such as “the sound of eating chips is great”, “ASMR should be cool”, “it need to be interactive”, “people would love me if they can take something with them from my project”, and “I want to use the laser cutter”. They are all about how I want to present my data, but I forgot to think about the data that I’m look into.

It became quite far-fetched to pull those ideas together. My first version of project was asking people to bite into a type of food and generate a soundwave, making a poster of the soundwaves, a paper sculpture of the soundwaves or etch the soundwave to the food itself. It is purely formalistic and blurred in what message to convey.

Thanks to the time constraints, I narrowed it down to biting chips and generate soundwave. Label printer was added but again, it is formalistic. Addition or removal of a label printer didn’t improve or deteriorate my concept at all. I worked on this project for quite a long time. And noticed that I’m working towards a wrong direction after a talk with Professor Feng.

He questioned my weakest link in the project, which is the huge gap between biting a chip and identity. I didn’t get my focus clear, since there are so many things better represent human identity than biting a chip, why I chose this to be my project. I was into eating but rather than adding everything I like into the project; it is more crucial to work towards a clear direction.

After being questioned and questioning myself, I came up with the final concept of Bardentity. Eating is a primary activity of everyone, and everyone has different chewing pattern or eating habit. To present this difference, I chose to record the sound of eating. To enlarge the sound, I chose chip as a media since its sound is crunchy and loud. It actually doesn’t matter what to eat. To make the difference of sound easy to be observed, I decided to visualize the soundwave. Since I want to make it a representative of each person, I made it into a barcode label, just like the one stick on product in the supermarket.

I started my interface on P5 and the printing code on processing. Tons of thanks to Professor Feng for the memobird printer’s code. The user flow is put one’s name in, click button to start recording and click button to stop. It generates a barcode and download to my processing data folder inside of my dropbox folder. Thanks to AJ’s idea of using IFTTT to connect Dropbox and Tumblr, the barcodes are automatically sync to Bardentity’s Tumblr page. Then the user put the name in the processing input box to prnt the label out.

Looking back to the evolution if my concept, I noticed that the deviation of my focus is somewhat due to my weakness in skill base. I’m thinking about different forms all the time because I tried them little before. Lack of practice makes me curious about every new form of presentation, which distract me from the core of my project. When I started a project, I was thinking about what new type of skill I can use, rather than what message I want to convey, or what data I want to look into. It’s a misunderstanding of after-class practice and final project. Fortunately, I was able to turn back onto the right track at the last minute on this project, though it still sounds a little far-fetched and looks like finding reasons for what I do. It’s one of the most important take-away I have from this course.

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