Documentation for Final Project “Kelp me!”

Documentation for Final Project 

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Name of the project: Kelp me!

This project pushed us to create a game of interaction, the final test of our knowledge and newfound acquired skills. We decided to test ourselves by creating a game that forces the users to interact both with each other and their controllers to reach a mutual goal. The interactions between players should be collaborative in nature, not competitive; the controllers should be used in a distinct, unique, and intuitive way, all the while catalyzing the interaction between the user and the computer. We wanted our game to be accessible to a range of gamers ranging in age. The game should also people without prior gaming activity or knowledge of our issue to play with relative ease.

The game itself is an ice-themed maze in which players jump onto platforms and over obstacles which, when done correctly, results in their character getting to safety. Only when both players reach the goal would either feel the joy of victory. Our premise for the game, penguins in the Antarctic circle, was inspired from our desire to gamify a crucial societal problem, pollution, and to spread awareness and promote discussion of these issues.

Goal: create a game that the user can understand how to play instinctively. 

 

The Research behind Kelp Me!

Before embarking on our journey, we first needed to figure out our destination. Before I jump into our specific project, I want to take a moment to talk more generally about research-based work. I greatly appreciate this course’s emphasis on the research process. Over my few brief years, I’ve come to believe that the meta-cognitive period is the most important step in any large task. Finding the right inspiration can form quite beautiful waves of creation, which in turn can inspire others. Communal building dates back to ancient philosophers and engineers, and I want to take the time to recognize IMA’s adoption of this tradition.

Research and Development for the Controller

http://graphics.cs.cmu.edu/projects/Avatar/avatar.pdf

When bouncing around a number of different ideas, Anna brought up a paper she read about interactive control of ‘avatars’ within a game. Through various sensors placed all around the player, the user could navigate an entire virtual world in real time. We both loved this concept, but knew that we lacked the knowledge to make a VR game. This brought us to a scaled down version of this idea—an isolated sensor which controlled a set of movements. Despite the restriction, we wanted the player to have as much mobility as possible. This led us to our designated area of the body: the feet.

 

This triggered memories of games we’ve played in basements and arcade games, the infamous “Dance Dance Revolution” and “Wii” board.

 

 

Neither one of these games captured our idea in the free form we wanted. Our idea involved the player being able to move their legs quickly but without any “cheating” by the player (as seen in many wii games). Our first idea was pretty similar. We brainstormed creating an interactive board on which the players signal their penguin to run to the right by leaning to the right, and vice versa. Jumping would also get the penguin to jump.This style of console works well in a game such as dance dance revolution, but doesn’t translate as well into our game. For our game, we imagined it could be too difficult with not enough payoff. The player could easily slip off the board, lose the game and feel unnecessarily frustrated. This meant it was time for us to diverge our background and imagine something new.

We don’t have one foot, we have two… what would it be like to have two separate controllers, instead of one? Walking would make the penguin walk, jumping would jump; the virtual world would mirror the real. This is much closer to what we wanted to make, and we were both quite excited at our realization.

Initially, we thought of using pressure sensors on our controller. Bust just like the midterm project, we simply needed digital input, analog was no use. Additionally, body weight is a difficult thing to control and standardize when talking about putting full body weight onto our sensor. Therefore, some sort of button made much more sense and would solve this problem entirely.

Once we settled on using digital buttons, not pressure analog sensors, we needed to actually create the controllers. Surprisingly, the construction didn’t need as much troubleshooting as we predicted. Using the same technique as the button from the midterm, we cut oval shaped pieces of cardboard that fit the dimensions of any foot. We used two distinct pieces for each “single” controller and attached conductive tape to one of their sides, soldering on long strands of wire on each of the side with the conductive tap, one to be connected to a digital pin and the other to ground. We cut out the same shape of some styrofoam/fabric-like material to separate the two pieces from constantly touching one another. In the center we cut two holes that would allow the cardboard pieces to touch when pressed together. When these two pieces of conductive tape would touch, with help from the Arduino, they create a close circuit, operating as simple buttons. And with that, we had made our penguin feet controllers!

This was the design we brought into user testing. This is what the controllers and the interaction looked like at the time:

user-testing-for-final-

The user testing, as always, was incredibly useful in the editing/improving/streamlining process. People seemed generally excited to test our project, and often surprised to discover how the controls work. Some people found the controllers a bit difficult to use at first, which can be easily attributed, not to the players, but to us for preparing a far too difficult level 1. One of our main questions we asked was whether or not players preferred the controllers on the ground or connected to their feet. Out of the thirteen people we asked, eleven thought attaching the consoles to their feet would improve the overall experience. We also asked if our user testers preferred jumping or sliding movements. The response was overwhelmingly pro-sliding.

Taking the feedback to heart, we added straps and changed the controls from jumping to sliding, which also meant that the player would have to jump in real life in order to make the penguin jump. For the straps, we used velcro, which allowed the player to adjust the strap to their feet, ensuring it stayed on when playing. This method also meant that the controllers could come on and off easily and could be worn without the players having to take their shoes off. In addition to the changes from our feedback, we also added a few changes of our own, namely, we covered the controller with black fabric, both for aesthetic and practical reasons. Our vision also included adding toes to the controllers so that they more clearly resembled penguin feet, but due to the time constraints we kept them as they were.

 

Reflecting on the post-user testing version of the console, I am both proud and critical. I’m proud of the functionality; these feet accomplish what we required of them. At the same time, I wish we could have more time to create a long-lasting, wearable, and aesthetic version of our consoles. One thing that became clear after user testing was the fact that cardboard, as a material, gets tired quite quickly. If I were to redesign the feet, I would recommend using cork, foam, or plastic instead. Additionally, the feet should not have cords attached to them. Not only do they get extremely tangled, but they ruin the illusion of reality by drastically limiting the mobility drastically. In theory, the console could create a line of different animal feet that correspond with different releases of the game. As critical as I am, I must remind myself that my nit-picky nature stems from my passion for the project idea and desire to make it as amazing as possible.

Research and Development for the Interface

Without a doubt, the game we envisioned came from games we’ve enjoyed in our past. Our initial idea for the game was something that vaguely involved penguins getting through real-life obstacles to get to safety. This led us to a game in which a penguin jumps and slides from melting pieces of ice trying to get to shore. But this idea brought up a problem: how would the two players work together? One solution to this problem was to give the two players different jobs that together would make one working penguin. After debating between two avatars controlled by two players versus one avatar controlled by two players, one avatar was pushed off the table, namely since having two players work on one avatar could lead to enormous frustration from one or both players. At this point, we turned to our research. We liked the look and feel of the moving screen, such as Temple Run,

*****TEMPLE RUN*****

but didn’t know how to incorporate two players into that format. Could we split the screen? No, that loses the interaction between players that we want. We could stop the screen unless both players are on the screen, or let the screen moving become the mechanism that gets players out (ie if one of the players falls too far behind, both lose). But both of these ideas felt unnecessarily difficult when compared with another format: static screen.

Fireboy and Watergirl was an inspiration from the beginning, since both Anna and I had fond memories playing this game and wanting our game to evoke the same feeling; using their static screen felt right and fit much more smoothly with our game. The next step  turned away from our old friend Arduino to our new, a bit scarier friend Processing. Luckily, some open source code for a similar game was available.

 

Reading through (and later manipulating) the code brought me to a whole new level of coding. Although I knew about each of the techniques used (arrays, voids, blocks, etc), seeing someone else use these tools in a new way taught me more than I ever could have deduced on my own. One of my most proud aspects of this entire project is truly understanding, line by line, what my code is accomplishing.  Although that might not sound impressive to someone else, personally this felt like a major breakthrough.

Paralleling the console process, after understanding what came before, it was time to forge our own path. The first step was the conception of a (far too difficult) layout for the game. The level we made was specially designed to involve both players in order to complete the challenges. Converting this layout to processing was surprisingly simply, yet time consuming.

Before user testing, we had two major additions we needed to add that the initial code did not have. The first major change comes from the singular vs. two player experience. For our game, we needed three different dead zones. Although I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to accomplish this, the solution was simply to indicate in the array which number (0, 1, 2, 3) applied to which player, and then coordinate this with the building blocks. The second task, making moving boxes, was not completed before user testing. Although we didn’t have time to finish this part, one way of doing this is to create another “player” using void, then make a for loop with moved this “player” one unit over when pressed by the other player. We could also have made the sides of the box dead zones to clarify which player needed to move which box.

In addition to the feedback about the console, we also received very useful information about the interface during user testing. The responds, though different in wording, all echoed the same message: the interface is ugly and unclear. One user said outright “make it more beautiful.” What this translated to for our project was to make the interface relevant to our game concept. We needed snow, ice, oil, and penguins! As for the clarity, this request called for a starting, winning and losing screens. Again, due to time restrains, we didn’t add in the starting screen, sticking only to the winning and losing screens.

Reflecting on the project, and this semester, the idea of interaction has taken on a whole new level of significance. I initially defined interaction as a conversation between two or more subjects in which one or more subjects send and receive a signal (input, starts convo, etc.). While I stand by my initial definition of interaction, I would revise this definition to emphasis that the exchange is, in essence, two-sided. Additionally, I would like to find a way of adding the word “meaningful” into the phrasing; interaction has purpose.

(I’m having a lot of trouble uploading a video of the project due to the wifi strength, my apologies. I will share the link via google drive.)

Recitation 7: Processing Animation

By Kaley Arnof

Partner: no one, sadly

This week, we were tasked with the exciting job of animating our image from Processing that we created last week. Unfortunately, I left my computer at home that day (oops) and didn’t have a way of getting my code. So instead, I let my creative juices flow and thought of a new project idea. I was very much inspired by the hexagon design that presses against the glass wall of our room from the IMA room next to us.  I love the look of all the those hexagons and wanted to see if I could create something with it, which led me to my animation challenge: create a grid of triangles that spin when you press on them. I chose triangles because I couldn’t find a way of creating hexagons, although as I look at what I made below it occurs to me that six triangles make up a hexagon! next time…

Just like the other projects, I didn’t have a clue how to execute my idea using Processing. My first task was to create the grid you see above. With help, I learned that a for loop within a for loop gets the job done. This was the extent of what I could accomplish within the time of our recitation class.

But my project was lacking the key feature: interaction– I knew my work wasn’t done yet. I made a new sketch with just one triangle. Through much trial and error, I learned that the way of getting a triangle to revolve once involves first translating the origin to the point the triangle should rotate around. If this were to work for many triangles, I would need to keep the translation inside a push-pop matrix. Next, the rotation needs to be in degrees, not radians, so that the value can increase one degree at a time, and stop at 360 degrees. The next piece was the most difficult for me to wrap my head around. I spent a long time figuring out how to use the boolean “movingState” to start and stop the triangle.

Screen-Recording1

If I had more time, the next step is to get the mousePressed to turn on only if the mouseX and mouse Y were within a certain area (for each individual triangle) and the correct color (using the get feature). I would still love to see my idea come to life!

 

Lastly, the homework also took a lot of time and learning in order to execute. I was able to figure out most of the instructions, but I still haven’t been able to get the circle to move. The most exciting part of this learning process was learning about HSB when random is added–so cool! Generally, coding is a brand new language for me, but learning it has already been so rewarding and I can’t wait to keep building my lexicon!

Screen-Recording

//the triangle layout 

int x=0;
int y=0;

void setup () {
  size (600, 600);
  background (0, 0, 225);
}

void draw() {

//need a variable to change depending on time or framerate in order to create the spinning action

  for (int i =0; i<7; i++) { 
    for (int j=0; j<7; j++) {
      triangle (0+i*100, 200*j, 50+i*100, 100+200*j, 100+i*100, 200*j);
      triangle(-50+i*100, 100+200*j, 0+i*100, 200+200*j, 50+i*100, 100+200*j);
    }
  }

}

//the single spinning triangle

float degreeSpin=0;//1, 2, 3.. need degreeSpin in order to use rad in this case
float radSpin= 0;//radians are what rotate USES
boolean movingState= false;

void setup() {//Happens ONCE at the beginning
  size (600, 600);
  background (0);
}
void draw() { //happens over and over again, draw in a loop
  background (0); //after the first frame, going OVER each frame so looks fresh every time
  translate(width/2, height/2); 
  if (movingState==true) {
    degreeSpin++;
    rotate(radSpin); //spinning
    radSpin= radians(degreeSpin); //converts degree  to its corresponding value in radians
    degreeSpin= degreeSpin+3;
    println (degreeSpin, movingState);
    if (degreeSpin==360)
      movingState=false;
  } else {
    degreeSpin=0;
    println (movingState);
  }
  triangle (-200, -200, 0, 0, 200, -200);
}
void mousePressed() {
  movingState=!movingState; // movingState = !movingState;
  println (movingState);
}
// when its true, rotate. When it is false, stop rotating

// Colorful circle expanding and contracting Homework Assignment 

float radius= 20;//variable used to control size of ellipse
boolean circleDirection = true; //boolean is a data type and placing it up here makes a GLOBAL (not local)
int speed= 5;//this is a variable which allows me the ease of changing the speed of circle moving in and out without changing ind.
int x = 300; //x and y for the keyPress
int y = 300;

  void setup () { 
  size (600, 600);
  background (0); //this is the FIRST frame's background
  colorMode(HSB);
}

void draw() {
  background (0);//this is the 2nd and 3rd.... (purpose is to avoid stacking)
  noFill(); //do not fill that shape in
  stroke(radius, 255, 255); //stroke colour
  strokeWeight(10); //heavy/thin line 
  ellipse (width/2, height/2, radius, radius);
  if (circleDirection==true) {
    radius= radius+speed;
  } else if (circleDirection==false) {
    radius= radius-speed;
  } 
  if (radius==20) { 
    circleDirection= true;
  } else if (radius==300) { 
    circleDirection= false;
  }
  println("radius", radius);
}

void keyPressed() { //this doesn't work... need more time in order to understand why!
  if (keyCode == UP) {
    y -= 10;
  }
  if (keyCode==DOWN) {
    y += 10;
  }
  if (keyCode==RIGHT) {
    x += 10;
  }
  if (keyCode==LEFT) {
    x -= 10;
  }
}

Recitation 6: Processing Basics

By Kaley Arnof

Partner: no one 🙁

This week, we were tasked with taking another image and creating our version (either copied or inspired by). I chose Kandinsky’s 1923’s “In the Black Square.” I love Kandinsky’s works (especially his more abstract work) and thought this piece incorporated enough simple shapes to be relatively easy to recreate.

 

Boy, was I wrong! The first challenge I faced was in how to create the texture of paint using Processing, a digital color which is nothing but pure color. With help from an instructor, I used the random function to scatter pinky-tan opaque ellipses all over the “canvas.”

The majority of my time during recitation was spent figuring out how to create the uneven off-white quadrangle, which I created using two triangles. I liked the shape, but the recitation time didn’t feel like I how given a true effort of my attempt of recreation/inspiration. So that night, I plowed away and ended up with what I have now!

I know that this may not a the primary focus of this assignment, but one takeaway I found from doing this assignment was a new appreciation for Kandinsky’s artistry. I love going to museums and looking at art, but I rarely create art of my own, and I don’t think I’ve ever tried to copy art from famous artists that I am fond of. By taking the time to examine each stroke, Kandinsky’s masterful painting ability become more and more apparent.

Much of the blending and general effects I was trying to create can only come from paint itself, and no matter how much I try I can never truly get the same effect as Kandinsky. The difference in medium is limiting in some sense, but absolutely freeing from many other dimensions. I wonder what Kandinsky would create with an online toolset like Processing…

size(600,600);
background(#222229);
fill(#F59E85,20);
noStroke();
for (int i = 0; i < 20000; i++ ) {
ellipse (random(width), random(height), 2, 2); // random (max value) ie refers back to size
}
fill(#FCFCF0);//YOOOO this is the quad 
triangle(20, 15, 50, 550, 550, 80);
triangle(50,550, 550,80, 560,510);
stroke(0);
triangle(130,90, 50,550, 200,540);
fill(#EAC340);
triangle(130,90, 100, 250, 160, 250);
fill(#C45F12);
triangle(350,210, 230,215, 330,160);//dark orange triangle
fill(#403F3E, 100);//gray spots color
noStroke();
for (int i = 0; i < 50; i++ ) {
ellipse (random(285, 340), random(180, 210), 10, 5); // random (max value) ie refers back to size
}
stroke(0);
fill(#AA0505);
arc(80, 270, 200, 190, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
fill(#55BC9B);
arc(80, 280, 190, 190, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
fill(#FFE562);
arc(80, 290, 180, 190, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
noStroke();
fill(#578CFC);
arc(80, 300, 170, 190, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
//needs spots, no idea how to form spots in a curve
fill(#CCDDE3);
arc(80, 310, 160, 180, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
fill(#E8C5DE);
arc(80, 315, 150, 170, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD); 
fill(#FCFCF0,210);
arc(80, 320, 140, 160, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
fill(#FCFCF0);
rect(50, 170, 50, 100);
stroke(0);
fill(0);
triangle(40,300, 490, 110, 440, 150);
stroke(0);
fill(#F5BE99, 90);
triangle(70,550, 180, 400, 200, 540);
beginShape(LINES);
vertex(400, 408);
vertex(500, 330);
vertex(404, 410);
vertex(495, 345);
endShape();
beginShape(LINES);
vertex(408, 412);
vertex(490, 360);
vertex(412, 414);
vertex(485, 375);
endShape();
//next 4 lines yikes
beginShape(LINES);
vertex(390, 450);
vertex(500, 390);
vertex(390, 455);
vertex(495, 405);
endShape();
beginShape(LINES);
vertex(390, 460);
vertex(490, 420);
vertex(400, 465);
vertex(485, 435);
endShape();
beginShape(LINES);
vertex(400, 350);
vertex(480, 500);
vertex(410, 350);
vertex(510, 500);
endShape();
fill(#17110D);
ellipse(400, 270, 150,150);
fill(#D1AE4E,200);
ellipse(400,270, 130,130);//black and yellow 
fill(#EDD678,70);
arc(375, 270, 80, 125, HALF_PI, PI+HALF_PI, CHORD);
fill(#EDD678,70);
arc(380, 270, 170, 135, -HALF_PI, 0, CHORD);
fill(#17110D, 100);
noStroke();
ellipse(130, 360, 70, 70);//gray in-triangle circle
fill(#403F3E, 100);//gray spots color
noStroke();
for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++ ) {
ellipse (random(100, 165), random(340, 375), 5, 5); // random (max value) ie refers back to size
}
fill(#403F3E, 100);//gray spots color
noStroke();
for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++ ) {
ellipse (random(115, 150), random(330, 395), 5, 5); // random (max value) ie refers back to size
}
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(100, 75, 20, 20);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(100, 80, 20, 20);
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(120, 80, 20, 20);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(120, 85, 20, 20);
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(145, 90, 30, 30);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(145, 95, 30, 30);
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(185, 95, 50, 50);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(185, 100, 50, 50);
stroke(0);
fill(0);
ellipse(225, 100, 30, 30);
noStroke();
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(225, 103, 30, 30);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(225, 106, 30, 30);
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(255, 110, 30, 30);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(255, 115, 30, 30);
stroke(0);
fill(#EAC340);
ellipse(285, 115, 30, 30);
noStroke();
fill(#FCFCF0);
ellipse(285, 120, 30, 30);

Midterm Project: Dino in Mino (Key), Kaley Arnof

By Kaley Arnof

PROJECT NAME: DINO IN MINO (KEY)

PROJECT STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:                                                   

The purpose of our project is promote musical comprehension skills in children by asking the user to play the Dino’s favourite melody using auditory and tactile clues. While initially the project was intended to promote awareness about anxiety attacks in an education and socially conscious yet fun way, our project transformed into a new way of building musical literacy for children. The toy appearance will entice children and riddle quality will inspire the child’s imagination. As pervasive as music is within society culturally and historically, very little time is devoted to teaching children to appreciate music. In addition, the arts have been severely overlooked in the education system, and music is no exception. Our toy brings musical education back into the dialogue.

One secondary purpose is a positive forum for children with behavior disorders, especially Attention Deficit Hyper-attention Disorder, giving this specific demographic a resource to engage with, armed with an ability to maintain a child’s focus for extended periods of time.

 

 LITERATURE AND ART, PERSPECTIVES AND CONTEXTS:                                                      

As we began to rethink our project concept, our initial sources of inspiration grew farther and farther away from what we wanted. While searching for new inspiration, we looked over some of the older reading to find Tigoe’s Physical Computing’s Greatest Hits (and misses) and Kinetics & Robots by Stephen Wilson,  in particular the Feral Robot Dog Natialie Jeremijenko were quite useful and really helped shaped our project.

Tigoe’s Physical Computing’s Greatest Hits (and misses) reveals two very useful project themes that we tapped into while creating Dino in Mino: Remote Hugs and Dolls and Pets. Tigoe’s general critique of the Remote Hugs projects is that he has “yet to see one that truly communicates the sense of warmth and well-being that’s hoped for.” We agreed with his sentiment, and decided that if we were to create something that incorporates hugging, we should commit to creating the “warmth and well-being” that other projects lacked in the past. As the user testing revealed, our cuddly stuffed animal was successful in this goal. As to address the second common project theme, Dolls and Pets, our project very much falls under this category. Before settling on a stuffed animal, our first conception of the anxiety-attack simulation project, we first thought of creating a sheet of paper with a sea of motors beneath, all shaking in distress. But after reading (and rereading) Tigoe’s explanation behind the innate sense of attributing “anthropomorphic behavior” to inanimate toys (especially in animal form) was the influence that shifted us away from object and towards animal-toy.

The reading “Kinetics & Robots by Stephen Wilson”, more specifically “Feral Robot Dogs”, 2006 by Natalie Jeremijenko was a great reference for our project. Jeremijenko’s interactive robotic pet, which fought against urban pollution, helped focus public discourse on a societal problem of significance. The interactive pet aligned well with what we wanted to create, but with a different intended audience and societal issue (child musical literacy and exposure.) Tigoe and Jeremijenko fit nicely together in their belief in the power of animal facades, and decided to apply this to a child interaction.

Nobumichi Tosa is the key that really brought our final project together. We watched Tosa’s video in class one day, and the video made a lasting impression. After the user testing, we had many ideas but no clear direction as to where we should bring our project. It seemed like we had many projects at hand: a musically oriented project, a stress attacks oriented project, all within the body of one stuffed animal. Tosa inspired us to lean into the absurd, to take our musically ideas and directly combine them with the existing materials ie the pressure sensor and vibration motors. Thanks to Tosa, we were able to conceive of our the final concept. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX-dEq4UDYI

 

 PROJECT DESCRIPTION:   
                                          

Dino in Mino is an interactive project that encourages children to explore music through the gamification and anthropomorphization of a stuffed dinosaur. But this was not always the case. Originally, this project started as a mental health project. We wanted to explore what 4 mental illnesses feel like from a more inward angle than we typically see if you do not suffer from the particular mental illness. The four illnesses we chose were depression, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorder. For anxiety, we planned to place a curtain, paper, or some sort of cover on top of a bed a vibrating motors. Below the bed would be a sensor which allowed the shaking to stop after a set amount of time pressing on the sensors. When the user presses their hand on this surface, the goal was to make the surface as tumultuous and stress-inducing as possible, simulating the feeling of chronic and pervasive anxiety. The OCD part involved a ball going around a circuit at varying speeds. When the ball hit a certain spot, the user needed to hit a button. After 5 hits, the level would be completed. As easy as this seems in theory, the changing speed (and direction) would make this task quite difficult. The eating disorder did not have too much clarity on our project. For depression, our contraption would have toy person lying in bed, attached to the bed with a stiff stretchy string. The user could pull the person out of the bed, but if they let go the person would immediately snap by to the bed. This was not trying to be in the head of someone with depression, but someone trying to help their friend suffering with depression. After some period of time, the person would be set free from the bed and light up the final light. Each completed task would light up a different light, spelling out the word HOPE.

As exciting as this project seemed, it also sounded like an unrealistic goal to complete by our presentation date. With some guidance from our professor, we settled on a toy with anxiety–of dinosaur. We used pressure sensor to sense when the user was hugging the stuffed animal, and 3 vibration motors to cause shaking. We brought this model with us to user testing.

After user testing, we did some research and found an interesting way of bring music into the project. The same stuffed-animal would not only hold the pressure sensor and motors, like before, but would also contain buttons and a speaker. Instead of focuses on mental, we shifted the focus to music education for the demographic most likely to use our project: children.  

PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE:                        

 (At times it’s difficult to see the larger significance to adversity)

Our projects has distinctly different and easily important immediate and long-term benefits. Our project’s immediate benefits lie with the engaging nature of the riddle. What is the sequence I am suppose to play? What sounds correspond to which parts of the body? This challenge both challenging and incredibly rewarding when completed. Yet the long-term value lies not with the riddle, but with the music education that young children will receive by playing with this toy.The stuffed animal, in a sense, is a way of presenting the music in the most exciting way for children.  

If children get exposed to music in a way that is fine tailored to them, it has the possibility of igniting their curiosity and catapulting children into a lifelong loving relationship with music.

                                                                                                                         

 PROJECT DESIGN & PRODUCTION:

Our project had several components that went through a worse version before landing on the better one. During user testing, the wires stuck out of our dino’s back and flew every which way. Not only was this extremely jarring to see in a friendly dino, but the wires would often pop out of the motherboard and render the entire circuit “dead.” In order to fix this, we needed to address the two issues separately. As for the external wires, we added a battery and a backpack, the battery so that the dino could be moved around freely and the backpack to store all the the equipment. The wires popping out of the motherboard was a bit more difficult to address. We determined that sautering, while timely, would save us a lot of troubleshooting later on. So all the other connections that happened on the motherboard were sauter together in clumps or individually.

The next problem we needed to address was the pressure sensor. Despite our best efforts, we accidentally killed two pressure sensors. Without fully understanding the contexts that pressure sensors should be used, we pushed them into our design without a second thought. Only after the 2 broke sensors did we ask for advice, to which our professor directed us into a completely new territory. Instead of a pressure sensor, we created our own self-made button out of two pieces of cardboard with conductive tape on them, and a plushy material folded over with two holes in it as to the allow the cardboard to touch upon the pressure of a user. Since the pressure sensor worked in analog, a function we didn’t need, our makeshift completed the same task in digital with an identical function.  

 

CONCLUSION

The goal of the project is to engage children with a new type of puzzle which asks them to flex their musical brain to solve it. By exciting kids around the toy, we are hoping to foster long term investment in musical education and appreciation.

Overall, I would consider our project a success. We set out with a specific goal, and more or less we achieved that goal. The biggest unaddressed design flaw in our current prototype is the speaker. Due to the location of the speaker deep within the dino, the noises are all quite quiet and require a quiet space or steady focus to hear each note. This could be addressed either by adding more speakers or changing where the speaker is placed, quite possibility placing the speaker in the front of the dino, on the outside. In addition, the project is still quite fragile. With more efficient connections and smaller equipment that does the same function as the arduino, I feel that this issue could also be solved. Another thing that should be mentioned is a future development plan. In addition to making the toy less fragile, we would also like to include more levels to the game as to continue interest. With so many variables (different notes, length of sequence, length of sustaining notes, difficulty of auditory comprehension etc), the possibility are near endless to the future combinations.

I hope that the important of building music education has seeped into my writing prior to the conclusion. We want children to be genuinely excited by music, and allow their passion to drive exploration and diligence to the art. On a personal note, I wish that I could have had a toy like that to inspire me to invest in musical arts, since I sorely regret quitting piano in middle school. I hope that our toy combines fun, education, comfort, and excitement into a wonderfully entertaining package. And, c’mon, what’s cuter than a little dinosaur stuffy with a backpack?

int button_C = 2;
int button_E = 4;
int button_G = 6;
int button_Cup = 8;

int speaker = 13;

int buttonstate_C = 0;
int buttonstate_E = 0;
int buttonstate_G = 0;
int buttonstate_Cup = 0;

const int c = 261;
const int e = 329;
const int g = 392;
const int Cup = 523;
const int NOTE_SUSTAIN = 50;
const float NOTE_C5 = 523.251;
const float NOTE_D5 = 587.330;
const float NOTE_E5 = 659.255;
const float NOTE_A5 = 880.000;
const float NOTE_B5 = 987.767;
const float NOTE_G4 = 415.305;
const float NOTE_C4 = 277.183;

int count = 0;

int correctMelody[] = {c, e, g, Cup, g, e, c};
int inputMelody[7];
int x;
bool alreadyPressed = false;
bool p = false;

//NOTES         'c'  , 'e',  'g', 'C'
int tones[] = { 1915, 1519, 1275, 956 }; //freq
int Cur_tone = 0;


void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  pinMode(button_C, INPUT);
  pinMode(button_E, INPUT);
  pinMode(button_G, INPUT);
  pinMode(button_Cup, INPUT);
  pinMode(9, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(12, INPUT);
  pinMode(speaker, OUTPUT);
}


void loop()
{
  if (digitalRead(12) == HIGH && p == false){
    p = false;
    for (x=0; x<7;x++){
       
          tone(speaker, correctMelody[x], 500);
          delay(500);
          noTone(speaker);
          p = true;
         
    }
  } else {
      if (p){
        p = false;
      }
      noTone(speaker);
      
    }


  
  buttonstate_C = digitalRead(button_C);
  buttonstate_E = digitalRead(button_E);
  buttonstate_G = digitalRead(button_G);
  buttonstate_Cup = digitalRead(button_Cup);

  if((buttonstate_C == HIGH) || (buttonstate_E == HIGH) || 
    (buttonstate_G == HIGH) ||  (buttonstate_Cup == HIGH) )
  { 
    if (buttonstate_C == HIGH)
    {
      Cur_tone = c;
      alreadyPressed = true;
    } 
    if (buttonstate_E == HIGH)
    {
      Cur_tone = e;
      alreadyPressed = true;
    }
    if (buttonstate_G == HIGH)
    {
      Cur_tone = g;
      alreadyPressed = true;
    }
    if (buttonstate_Cup == HIGH)
    {
      Cur_tone = Cup;
      alreadyPressed = true;
    }

    tone(speaker, Cur_tone, 500);
    delay(500);

    
    
    
  }
  else //in case no button is pressed , close the piezo
  {
    digitalWrite(speaker, LOW);
    if (alreadyPressed == true){
      inputMelody[count] = Cur_tone;
      count++;
      alreadyPressed = false;
    }
  }

  if (count == 7){
    if(test()){
      delay(500);
      for (x=0; x<5;x++){
          digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_A5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_B5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_C5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_B5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_C5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_D5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_C5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_D5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_E5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_D5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_E5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          tone(speaker,NOTE_E5);
          delay(NOTE_SUSTAIN);
          noTone(speaker);
          digitalWrite(9, LOW);
          
      }
    }else{
      delay(500);
      for (x=0; x<1;x++){
        tone(speaker,NOTE_C4, 2000);
        delay(2000);
        noTone(speaker);
      }
    }
    count = 0;
  }

 
}

bool test(){
  int i = 0;
  int eval = true;
  for (i=0; i<7;i++){
    if (inputMelody[i] != correctMelody[i]){
      eval = false;
    }
  }
  return eval;
}

Midterm Project User Testing

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Partner: Anna Skarpalezou

The user testing was quite an informative and noteworthy step that catapulted our project from one idea into a completely new concept. Anna and I set up our toy, and excitedly brought it to class on Friday to hear feedback.

(^the construction, pre user testing day)

Prior to the initial feedback, Anna and I already had some clear ideas of things to improve upon. For one, we knew that our stuffy needs a backpack to store the arduino, battery, and wires. We also wanted a box that the pressure sensor could trigger, with brochures inside. We also wanted the pressure sensor to be in the most front part of the stuffy so that it can easily be triggered. Of course, we also needed to sew the stuffy up, but figured that most of these changes were relatively minor.

We received a lot of feedback, certainly more than what I was expecting. At first, the feedback aligned with our thoughts. One person responded, “I really had to hug it,” alluding to the pressure sensor’s lack of sensitivity. A second person suggested we put “hug me” on the stomach for clarity. More sensors and/or lowering the pressure necessary to stop the shaking seemed like two plausible solutions overall. Yet another person suggested we put the sensor on the back and/or nose, as oppose to the front stomach area, given the hugging action touches the back and nose the most–we took this to heart when changing the design, and ultimately we had our sensor in the backpack.

Once someone figured out how to stimulate the pressure sensor, another problem came to the surface. Many users found that the shaking sensation we had chosen specifically because we wanted to induce a sense of panic and stress had the exact opposite effect–people felt comforted by our project. This feedback is a bit confusing–how did we manage to design something that calms instead of stresses? The initial solution seemed to be a dual purpose depending on whether we want it to start or stop shaking.

Our project took a major turn since its initial conception. These changes came directly from the feedback from user testing. I’m both incredibly grateful for the feedback, and a tad resentful for the time spent reforming, and ultimately reinventing our stuffy.

Recitation 5

Recitation 5: VisualCommRecitation

Date: 19 Oct 2018

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Instructor: Marcela Godoy

This week was unlike any other recitation prior–no arduino needed. For this recitation we were tasked with using Tinkercad and Abode Illustrator to first create a 3D image of our group projects from the week before, then create an epic (and in my case, vintage) poster for the product. I have never used Tinkercad or Ai, so I was got quite frustrated trying to find each function. Reflecting now, I am grateful for the assignment, even with its temporary frustrations, since now I know in actuality, not in theory, that I can use these applications. Once the Tinkercad translawatch was ready—

—I uploaded my image to Adobe Illustrator. Because of the “vintage” and “outdated” nature of a watch in 3018, I thought my poster should reflect the vintage vibes. Although I felt a bit silly drawing a million lines, but I have to say I really enjoy my final result!

Translawatch_kga263

Recitation 4

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Materials:

  • 1 * 42STH33-0404AC stepper motor
  • 1 * SN754410NE ic chip
  • 1 * power jack
  • 1 * 12 VDC power supply
  • 1 * Arduino kit and its contents
  • 2 * Laser-cut short arms
  • 2 * Laser-cut long arms
  • 1* Laser-cut motor holder
  • 2 * 3D printed motor coupling
  • 5 * Paper Fasteners
  • 1 * Pen that fits the laser-cut mechanisms
  • Paper

This week’s project asked us to create a drawing machine. In order to perform this ask, we needed to individually accomplish our circuit, then combine our piece with another partner in order to have two different controlling hands on the pen.

 

IMG_78831 

IMG_788411

Question 1:

What kind of machines would you be interested in building? Add a reflection about the use of actuators, the digital manipulation of art, and the creative process to your blog post.

Hmm… I suppose the best machine to build could be a machine which allows ideas to jump between the digital and physical world with relative ease. I’m imaging a VR headset with allows the user to draw what they want in 3D space, while the VR sends a signal  that passing the information to an actuator, which replicates the movements in real life. On the other side of things, I was also thinking about the idea of creating something physically and placing it in a box, which scanning the image and creates a 3D virtual model, which the user can manipulate and change to their preference. The software follows each of the changes made by the user, and then makes these changes in real life. Generally, I want to see smoother ways of jumping between the physical and virtual world when dealing with 3D objects.

Question 2:

Choose an art installation mentioned in the reading ART + Science NOW, Stephen Wilson (Kinetics chapter). Post your thoughts about it and make a comparison with the work you did during this recitation. How do you think that the artist selected those specific actuators for his project?

2006 Usman Haque’s Open Burble absolutely captured me. Not only is the visual technicolor absolutely stunning and quite reminiscent of a certain Pixar movie about an old man and a boy scout, the idea behind it is just as awe-inspiring. I’ve always been a bit disappointed that citizens don’t get any say in the city art that they look at on a daily basis. Open Burble relinquishes that power to the people, allowing anyone to shift the arrangement of the balls and “contribute at an urban scale to a structure that occupies their city.” This part instillation, part performance uses only balloons, sensors, LEDs, accelerometer, and microcontrollers (Arduino, possibly?) to create this magnificent effect. These components are light enough to float, and critical to its function. 

Recitation 3: Sensors

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Partner: Anna Skarpalezou

This week, we learned how to incorporate sensors into our circuit. We chose to connect a joystick to a myservo motor. By moving the joystick we were able to control the angle that the servo was talking after each instruction was given (with a range of minimum 0 and maximum 180).

Just by adding one new component, a sensor, the nature of the circuit–it finally started to feel like real interaction occurring between the user (us) and our arduino. Here is what the result looked like!

IMG_7690.TRIM_1

Question 1:

What did you intend to assemble in the recitation exercise? If your sensor/actuator combination were to be used for pragmatic purposes, who would use it, why would they use it, and how could it be used?

This was the same question I had swimming in my mind throughout the recitation. How can this sensor/motor apply to anything in the world outside the classroom? It’s difficult to see a clear application to the real world, but I suppose that there are a few specific scenarios I can imagine. One slightly absurd but incredible idea could be to create a baby rocking station. A series of hooks with myservo motors could be holding up swaddling blankets. A tired parent can bring their baby to the station, swaddle them up and place them on the hook. Press a button and–BAM! Rock that baby safely to sleep while you pass out on the couch. Think of one scene in Mulan where the huge soldier picks up and calms the short soldier down.  Another possible application could be a toy for your cat. The motor can have a long stick with a string and feather at the end. You can control the movement of the stick without having to strain, or just put it on one of 5 settings.

Question 2:

Can you identify your circuit with any device you interact with in your daily life? How might your circuit be used to have a meaningful interaction?

The only place I have ever seen a joystick is on a PlayStation, Wii, PSP, and Nintendo Switch game console controller. Besides that, I can’t think of other examples.

Question 3:

How is code similar to following a recipe or tutorial?

Code has clear similarities to a recipe or tutorial. A recipe or tutorial is transcribed by one person to be followed step-by-step by another, arguably less knowledgable and more literal person. The person reading the recipe or tutorial has no idea about the intention or things less unsaid, and is left to the exact word of the text. Code follows all of these ideas, but the receiver of information happens to be a computer, not another human.

Another interesting similarity between these three types of communication is the formulas requires in order for the information to successfully be delivered from the first party to the second. When coding, a clear and specific set of rules must be abided by such that the computer will understand what you are saying. To a less formal but equally enforced extent, recipes have strict formulas when writing out the message. For example, all recipes use imperative verbs (Place, Stir, Squeeze, Use, etc) at the start of the sentence, reinforcing the fact that you are following the commands of the recipe. Tutorials also use a similar technique to get their ideas across.

 

Question 4:

In Language of New Media, Manovich describes the influence of computers on new media. In what ways do you believe the computer influences our human behaviors?

Manovich does a fantastic job of describing the influence of computers on new media. I think one interesting phenomenon is the idea of a online identity superseding the physical identity, this idea that in order to have an enjoyable experience, other people need to be informed about it. The idea of manicuring a identity is not new to human interaction, in interviews we project the accomplished and hardworking version of ourselves, with our parents we try to impress a wholesome self, with our friends many attempt to seem cooler than they are, etc. What adds such a fascinating and scary dimension to this is the priority many youth give to their online selves at the sacrifice our their “real life.” Although this is not inherently bad, this type of communication goes through computers which are getting more and more educated about who we are from our online habits, in addition to the exponential improvement of technology each year. Their silent gaze makes the vast majority of users oblivious to their presence and influence. The best demonstration of this can be seen with the Russian influence through Facebook bots in the 2016 American presidential elections. But advertisers are just as guilty at manipulating possible consumers through computer intelligence, seen on almost every platform in a multitude of clever ways. The sooner the general public comes to terms with the computer impact on our behavior, the better humans will be able to navigate their online environment. Education is key!

 

// #
// # Editor     : Lauren from DFRobot
// # Date       : 17.01.2012

// # Product name: Joystick Module
// # Product SKU : DFR0061
// # Version     : 1.0

// # Description:
// # Modify the Sample code for the Joystick Module

// # Connection:
// #        X-Axis  -> Analog pin 0
// #        Y-Axis  -> Analog pin 1
// #        Z-Axis  -> Digital pin 3
// #

#include <Servo.h>
Servo myservo;  // create servo object to control a servo

int JoyStick_X = 0; //x
int JoyStick_Y = 1; //y
int JoyStick_Z = 3; //key

// twelve servo objects can be created on most boards
int pos = 0;    // variable to store the servo position


void setup() {
  pinMode(JoyStick_Z, INPUT);
  myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
  Serial.begin(9600); // 9600 bps

}

void loop() {
  int x, y, z;
  x = analogRead(JoyStick_X);
  y = analogRead(JoyStick_Y);
  z = digitalRead(JoyStick_Z);
  Serial.print(x , DEC);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.print(y , DEC);
  Serial.print(",");
  Serial.println(z , DEC);
  delay(100);


  int val = analogRead(A0);
  val = map(val, 0, 1023, 0, 180);

myservo.write(val);
}

Documentation for Recitation 2

Arduino Basics

Documented by: Kaley Arnof

Partner: Anna Skarpalezou

Necessary Materials:

DFRduino (programmable circuit board, variant of Arduino system)

Breadboard (in order to connect the various components, especially helpful in big circuits like n. 3)

Piezo Buzzer (produces sound, signifying the successful completion of the circuit, audio component)

Push-Button Switch (when pushed allows energy to instantaneously flow into the circuit)

Resistor (to regulate the amount of voltage coming in the circuit, so that our LEDs were not burnt we used 220 Ohms and in other cases we had to use bigger ones like 10K Ohms)

LED (when circuit is successfully built it lights up, a small diode that emits light and is a visual component)

Wires (to easily connect components to one another, usually through the breadBoard)

Circuit 1: Fade

The first circuit asked us to use an analogWrite() function to make an LED light fade. Analog, as opposed to Digital, is a non-binary form of communication between the Arduino and the software.  This means that instead of merely turning the LED light on and off, we could now control the LED brightness, allowing us to transition the light from on to off and vice versa.

 

Here is the design for Circuit 1

 

We connected pin number 9 to a 220Ohm resistor and that resistor to an LED light, finishing by connecting the LED light to ground. This is what it looked like: Circuit 1 LED fade

Circuit 2: toneMelody 

This circuit asked us to use of tone function to create melodies. As you can see below, the hardwire was merely the piezo buzzer connected to power and ground.

And function like this:

IMG_7515

Circuit 3: Speed Game

The speed was my personal favorite of the 3 circuits due to its complexity and unashamed encourage of raw competition. The idea of this game was that once you heard the sound made by the buzzer, your time starts, and whoever pushes their button more times, within the allowed time frame wins, signified by their LED light turning on.

Although initially daunting to create, especially compared to our earlier tasks, We had some difficulty understanding why each wire needed to go to specific places, but he mirrored circuitry (and the places that were not mirrored) allowed us to figure out exactly why each piece was in its spot. At this point, I still did not quite grasp how to code worked, and therefore the changes to the code felt random and incomprehensible. In addition, we ran into some technical difficulties as our ground was the power strip.

But once we overcame these hurtles, the end result was incredibly rewarding.

Speed Game

Question 1:

Reflect on different interactions with technologies that you have observed in your daily life. Pick a few of these and write down your own definition of interaction based on your observations.

Smartphones, our tap-your-card entrances and food payment, laptops—walking through our school might feel like living in the future. But the technology that I want to discuss are none other than a technology that has existed for hundreds, arguably thousands of years: elevators. We don’t often think about our daily interactions with the ten elevators that run up and down our school. In fact, we don’t often think about elevators, period. Elevators, when viewed from a social interaction perspective, have quite low interaction. With WeChat and headphones, humans have every excuse not to engage with one another. The technology of an elevator may receive more interaction than human to human. Not only do humans interact with the elevator by pushing a button to call the elevator, but all modern elevators come with motion sensors that will open the doors or keep the doors open. On a personal note, I often find myself pretending to be a rockette, swinging my leg up to a rhythm only I hear, just to keep a door open while my friend runs down the hall. This is all to say that through simple interaction and clever engineering, elevators have created a new (and more time than not, awkward) form of social interaction.

 

Question 2:

During the assembly of the circuits, we used many electronic components as inputs and outputs. Which of these components do you recognize in the circuit?

One example of an electronic component that we used in the assemble of our circuits as an input is the button used in the Speed Game. When one button is pressed more frequently than the other button, this information acts as an input for the software, which will use this input to correctly indicate the winner using an LED light.

 

Question 3:

If you have 100000 LEDs of any brightness and color at your disposal, what would you make and where would you put it?

I love this question. With 100,000 LED lights at my disposal, I could do so many things. My first instinct is to create an art piece that arranges the LEDs to look like a beautiful field of flowers. But why make these flowers out of LEDs? Well, I think that the LEDs could be coded to light up in clumps which appear like the flower is blooming or moving in the wind, or even the flowers and visually stimulating experience could be related to orchestral music. Yes, I would love my LEDs to be a visual representation of sound and music. This concept could be an interesting way of striving to include the deaf community into the larger community of music lovers.

 

Question 4:

Which reflections about the nature of interaction can you make about the Figure I.1 in the Physical Computing reading?

Figure I.1 in the Physical Computing reading spurred up a visceral frustration with the limitations that computers and human have when communicating. For one, humans with disabilities that effect their control or ability to use their hands, eyes, and/or ears have yet another injustice, exclusion from the digital world, impacting their lives. But even for abled people, our lack of communication with computers gives me a paradoxical feeling. On the one hand, I find it astounding how much we have been able to achieve communicating with computers simply through a small fraction of our bodies. On the other hand, our overreliance on these very specific parts of our body constricts hardware designers from considering what information a device could receive, and how that input could improve the overall communication level between device and user. Communication is difficult, no matter what the circumstance. We should strive to improve the chances of communicating effectively whenever possible, and expanding the computers comprehension of its user seems like a good place to start.

Week 4: Group Project, Kaley

MY DEFINITION OF INTERACTION:

Interaction is defined primarily by feedback and reciprocity. Two participants, living or designed, use signals to respond to one another in an effort to communicate and typically with a goal to accomplish some task.

COMMENTS ON TWO PROJECTS:

Prior to Interaction Lab, I was familiar with the terms post-modern and performance art. I had not, however, heard about the concept of post-human. Art movements have always had a transformative quality that allows the movement to usher in an innovative interpretation of preexisting ideas. Art, some may argue, is the purest reaction to temporal shifts. DIGITALIVE is art exhibition that gives a space and a platform for that process. The exhibition concept uses traditional ideas of performance art and brings them into direct contact with technology, asking How does technology change the meaning of “live” art? One project I especially enjoyed learning about is Eingeweide, created by Berlin-based Italian artists Marco Donnarumma and Margherita Pevere. Eingeweide is a simple concept: three actors interacting live. What brings this performance art to the post-human domain is the fact that one of these actors happens to be a robotic prosthesis named Amygdala. Amygdala is artificial intelligence which responds to the two human actors and can learn in real time through trial and error. All three actors share one goal: to form one identity. Identity has ascended from a human trait to something beyond, something post-human. Eingeweide is the breathing (and non-breathing) exploration of human and machine interaction is its purest form, which is why is one of my favorite projects.

One the other side, I wasn’t particularly blown away by Anatasis Germanidis and Cristobal Valenzuela’s Uncanny Rd, a drawing tool that allows a user to draw a synthesis street images. Although I enjoyed the end product, with its end effect resembling a gloomy Dr. Seuss, I would prefer the lack of precision to be optional or something to op-into, not a mandatory aspect of the project. I find it difficult to critique any of the projects I saw too harshly, since they are all good enough to make it passed an art connoisseur to reach an audience in the first place. That being said, I think that someone may be able to create a method of encouraging deep learning that is a bit more precise.

GROUP WORK:

Our idea for the “Tranlawatch” came from one member’s desire to communicate seamlessly with people speaking another language. Communication between different languages (and cultures) has always been important, but with the acceleration of interaction from globalization, effective exchanges has become even more imperative and frequent. Living in China, foreigners bump heads with this linguistically problem on a day to day basis, so language has shimmied its way from the periphery of thought straight to the center. Languages die every day, which has many undesirable effects, namely stripping away our ability to access the history and culture of that culture. In an effort to preserve different languages instead of erasing them, translation must grow to become a central tool in our imaged future. Similar to the pervasive and near-universal nature of smart phones, in our future the vast majority of people should have access and likely possess this device, which led our group to determine that a wearable technology seemed like the best means of distributing our product. Wearing a translator-watch would make it a near-seamless process of implementing the device’s purpose: translating. Even today, watches are worn more as a fashion statement and call-back to older times then for its intended purpose of telling time. In 2118, the need for watches will likely be all but evaporated, turning watching exclusively into an aesthetic.

To create our translawatch, we used two materials: metal and cardboard. First, we constructed a circular piece of cardboard to connect other pieces together.

We found a lamp and used the head as our translator/face of the watch.

We used another small piece of cardboard to bind our metal bracelet to the lamp.

We also constructed a smaller version of what we imagine the real watch will look like in the future, not our blown up primitive 2018 model. The sleeker model had a small metal face instead of our lamp head.

MY CRITIQUE:

Unfortunately, many different versions of our idea already exist today. The guards at the Pusan dorms use a small handheld device which they can speak into that writes the English through which they communicate with English speakers. Google translate has become the most widely known translator in the world, including over 100 languages. I wish that we had found someway other than the aesthetics of our watch bring our translator to the new level. As we identified at the start of our project, translation is imperative to both communicating between languages and not wiping out smaller languages in the future. But our watch did not speed up the process any more so than the handheld device used today. One possible way to upgrade that process would be to include an earpiece which translates almost instantaneously. If our product became widely used, this could create a world where communicating with people in your own language and other languages is nearly the same. Of course, this leads to my second and more general critique of the nature of translation. While translating can translate individual words, phrases, and sentences, often times the nuance of the meaning as well as the connotations get lost. Culture is cannot be translated, but felt. While languages may be preserve, one could predict that in the world run by translators may erase less-acceptable cultural behavior and traditions. Some of these, such as oppression of women or the queer community, have net-good effects on quality of life. Erasing human hate and replacing it with inclusion is hard to regret losing. But other aspects of culture which would also get smothered under dominant cultures and ultimately lose pieces of their culture. Our technology accelerates the process of monopolizing human interaction; contrasting cultures would converge. While globalization and sharing of culture is a hotly debated topic, and has been for centuries, our technology is an amoral machine with very moral repercussions.