Leave Your Comfort Zone
“Leave Your Comfort Zone” is a public installation which can encourage people to step out their comfort zone and try to say “hi” to strangers.
By using Kinect, Projector, and processing, I made a public installation named “Leave Your Comfort Zone”. This project is to encourage people to leave their comfort zone, and show them how to make friends with their classmates. There is a comfort zone area which people will stand in first, then the instruction video will tell people to encourage people to take a step out their comfort zone. Once they stepped out, another video will ask the user to try waving their hands and saying “hi” to the photo frames on the wall. Users’ classmates will say hi back to the users and say something like “would you like to be my friends?”. In this way, users will learn the importance of stepping out the comfort zone and making friends.
Demo of Project
Since we need to use what we learned in class, I did some research on vimeo and tried to find some inspirations on my final project. The key word that I used is “kinect”, “interactive”, “installation”. Then I found a project called Conductive Orchestra. Here’s the link: https://vimeo.com/40505337 . This is a project that you can interactive with the board of different shapes which are hung on the ceiling. Once you reached your hand to the board, music will start and cool videos will be presented on the board. So when all the board are triggered, it will look like a orchestra.
Then I thought I could make a world map then hanged it on the ceiling. When people waved hands to different continents, people who are from that continent will show up. However, this idea was not that clear enough. The world map and the video will make people confused. Then I realized I wanted to let people to use my project to make friends. I told Tyler about this idea and he came up with the idea of comfort zone. Because the reason that people don’t want to make friends is that they want to stay inside their comfort zone. So the comfort zone ideas was added to my project. After having the general idea, I started to think how to make my project more clear. Since the world map was really distracted, I thought photo frames will be better to replace the world map. Finally, I came up with the idea that when people stand out their comfort zone, and wave hands to the photo frame, their classmates will “jump out” from the photo frame and say “hi” back to the user.
I observed there were a lot of students who study in NYU Shanghai had a “lonely soul”. That means they always do things alone. Seems like they don’t really have friend in our school. Realizing this problem, I wanted to make an installation that can encourage these lonely souls to leave their comfort zone and let them realize it is actually not hard to make friends in our school. Because NYU Shanghai is such a small community, and our classmates are all really friendly.
The design of this project is mainly hand drawing. At the beginning, I wanted to use wood or the paper which looks like wood to be the photo frame. After laser cutting the paper, I tested the effect of projecting video on the paper. Then I found the video looked really dark on the wood paper even I turned off all the lights. So I had two thoughts about the design. The first one is that I draw the photo frame on the white board, however i realized it was really hard to draw photo frames on the board. So I drew all the photo frames shape on the white paper. I like the anesthetic of being looked like hand made. It will make users feel more closer to the project, especially a project about making friends. The hand-drawing photo frame looks really friendly to the user. Also, inspired by one picture of hand-drawing photo frame, I made all the frames looks like hanging on the clothesline. Based on the feedback, people liked how my project looks like.
The material that I used on this project are: Kinect, projector, mad mapper, processing, and MacBook Air. Kinect is the main tech that I used. Basically, I made various “invisible” buttons on my sketch. Since kinect can tell you how many pixels on one area. Kinect on mac will mainly recognize the depth of the area that it sensed. I set a number of the pixel in the button area. Once your hand is in the button area, the pixel will be greater than the setting that I set. The process that I have for this project is that I used keypress to control 8 different video first, then added the opening video and instruction video. I put the video demo sketch into mad mapper sketch so that I could test the effect of mad mapper. Then based on the sample code that moon gave me, I created button to replace the keypress. After creating one button, I created the button array. When I actually started set the installation, based on the position of each photo frame, I adjusted the position of each button again and again. Then it finally matched my hand position. Also, before I used table and tape to be the support of my projector, then Moon told me the tripod could be the support of projector, so the space of my installation will be bigger and people won’t hide the screen.
There are some feed backs on my project when I presented on my presentation and ima final show. First, more function can be developed on my project. Since the purpose of my public installation is to ask people to say hi. The interaction between users and the people on the photo frame can be increased. For example, once they say hi back, you can have more interaction with them and then can say more things or even give their qr codes! Secondly, it will be better if I showed user itself on the screen so that the user will know where they are and where their hands could be at. This is not hard to achieve. I can add the user’s pointcloud on it. Thirdly I should tell the user how to wave hands. It sounds a little bit stupid but actually when they experience my project, they have different ways to say hi 😂. If I can tell the user more specifically the result will be better. At last, the size of the installation could be bigger because although we think the distance of each photo frame is wide enough, the distance of each button is actually really small. So the user is kinda easy to trigger other photo frames. Generally people really like my project, when the people “jumped out” and say hi to them, they were surprised and excited ! Also, I found the potential market of my project, the administration and student life office. They seemed like having a strong interest on it because the installation can kinda promote their idea.