SoundPlay

From last week’s playtest, we were particularly surprised that the kids were engaged in the game too much that they failed to notice the accompanying sounds. To amplify the play experience, we decided to recreate a different output of the sound system.

While researching, we saw a few projects that uses solenoids to produce music. We got a few of those and tested it with different materials. The outcome was fascinating.

The following day we play tested it with kids from Tisch’s Bring Children to Work Day. Since it was assured that they love moving around, we decided to focus the play-test with just the sounds,

Observation:

  • The kids were curious on the exploration of materials
  • They were challenged to test every single pieces out
  • Younger kids were not as attached with our toys
  • Kids were easily distracted with the other toys in the same room, since they all produce sounds
  • There was not any clear goal or purpose of the toy
  • When asked which sound they like most, they all, 100%, without hesitation, went for the fastest one

Reflection:

  • More visual elements
  • Clearer goals of the game, promote collaboration or self-exploration

Digital Pregnancy Test

Wenjing and I decided to continue our body politics project to the finals. Our topic focused on bio-power, a social system use by the government to manipulate large group of human to ensure a better-sustained, ordered citizen. In this version, we will build a pregnancy device that uses 23andMe API to obtain DNA data instead of the country’s economic status and population. Based from the result, justify whether or not the user should have babies.

Some of the other prompts we want to keep in mind while working are:
Device: Juxtaposition
Mood: Uneasy
Limitation: Real API data, build on existing pregnancy test device

Conjuring – Expense Map

I like listing down my expenses to keep track of money. For this conjuring assignment, I plan to let user explore my day-to-day expense through Google Maps. I was thinking to use Google Location History at first, but for some reasons, I could not get the data.

location-history

I found an alternative option, using Google My Maps, to import a JSON file for it to visualize. I already have the list, but I still need to add the address to it for Google Maps to pin the location. I only have three months of input for now.

expense-map-locationexpense-map-table

Here is the live view of my expense maps:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FMzdYKkBXlYgv845LhRvioHY2OVVJF2J&usp=sharing

Twister game

This week, we step away from our original concept and build a twister game. We use conductive paint paired with Touch Board to produce sound and create interaction for user.

The Touch Board had 12-pins that could play different sounds individually when connected. We gathered some sample sounds and tested them with alligator clips. After getting it to work, we decided it’s time to scale it up.

We purposely make it thicker thinking it would provide more conductivity. Unfortunately, after checking the documentation, we found out that the thicker the lines the more likely it is to create resistance value.

We went back on using conductive tape.

We also create another iteration for this, by creating a game that challenge kids’ memory skills, have them remember the sequence of the colors and tap them accordingly.

Observations:

  • Kids did not notice the sounds while they play
  • They were engaged in the game and gets excited when they were asked to take off their shoes to play the game
  • There was not a clear way of how the game should end
  • The Touchboard was not able to play sounds asynchronously together

Suggestions:

  • More spots, scale
  • Make sounds the same length
  • Make instruction sheet
  • Cross-fade sounds so it does not stop abruptly
  • Provide visual feedback
  • Make musical composition with the body
  • Make music collaborate with the colors

 

Further iterations:

Indoor Generation

  • We spend 90% of our time indoors
  • Provides minimal daylight and fresh air
  • Indoor air can be 5x more polluted than outside
  • Scientist prove links between lack of daylight and a variety  og physical and mental problems
  • The only time we spend out is the time we commute to school or work.

Mood: Melancholy
Device: Metaphor
Attribute: 
Interactive

Research paper

For research assignment, I picked a paper from Proceedings of ACM IDC11 Interaction Design and Children called Evaluating technology that makes physical games for children more engaging. The paper is somewhat relevant to the project Winnie and I are building.

The authors wish to explore one of the two learning objective in kinesthetic literacy, learning to move. They found out that interactive technologies incorporated in a physical sport helps get players more engaged. And people that played it well will most likely pick up the sport in real life. Few pre-existing successful materials that embrace these ideas are Splashball, Remote Impact, and PingPongPlus.

The game proposed was for user to throw toys toward a display screen. An image shows up when the toy hits the screen and eventually create a digital collage of all the toys in the end.

Some findings through play-test:
1. Children throw differently with a physical object in hand rather than a virtual one
2. Using alternative soft toys instead of hard bouncing balls help eliminate risk of injury and distraction from their end goal
3. Adding element to create personal connections with the children motivate them more
4. Keeping the interaction simple so players of all physical abilities can play.
5. Giving feedback on their hand position, throw velocity etc helps player reflect on their progress or skills

Knock knock

After seeing our prototype, Alex told us about a UK-based company Novalia that specializes in producing conductive ink and boards. They did projects where people could touch a designated portion of event posters, and it outputs sound. Some of the similar products we found are Circuit ScribeBare conductive and 3M electrically conductive tape.

We decided to test the functionality of available materials at ITP before investing into these fancy products. We tried out 555 timer, conductive tape, and littleBits. 555 timer did not really work, but the other two works great, especially littleBits. It’s purely simple and effective.

We put up a visual target for the user to hit on using the slingshot, a buzzer would be triggered once they hit certain point. We plan to scale this up by incorporating copper tape or conductive ink for future version.

One of our user testing the stability of our slingshot.


For research assignment, I picked this paper from 2011 because it is relevant to the concept of my project.

Lo-fidelity toys

For this week, we were asked to make a lo-fidelity toys to be play-tested for our next class.

Some of the prompts given to us were:
– Target a persona, could be a child or adult
– Must be played within a specific environment
– Should be built under three materials (e.g batteries, electronics, wood…)

Winnie and I talked about how tech-heavy the toys nowadays are. Trying to bring technologies to kids as early as possible. Which is so different from what we used to have when we were young. We came across Pinaffo Pluvinage’s Papier Machine and love the aesthetic of their work. Why can’t classic and tech toys have a good match?

We list down some of the classic toys we know, and re-engineered it to add elements of tech to it.