Tinkle, part 1/2 – installation

For the past few weeks, we have been play-testing a lot. Based from users feedback, we decided to rip-off the message-recording portion. Simplify the interaction to user enters, sits and hears a message, then leaves.

Process: Fabrication
We decided to hacked the toilet instead of getting a real one. We search through target, bed bath and beyond, and china town for stools. But none of them has the height and shape we want.

Then we came across this camping porta-potty from Amazon. It was perfect. We replaced its upper sitting area with an actual toilet seat. Coated it with a warm hue of pink. It was funny to this announcement from Pantone a few days after our spray-paint session.

Process: Code
We used Arduino to send out data from the sensors and P5 to play our pre-recorded message. For the sensors, we know that we need a distance sensor at the entrance to determine the enter state of user. A photocell inside the toilet bowl to determine the standing and sitting states. The photocell works likes a charm, but the ultrasonic sonar distance sensor is giving unstable values that we had to change to IR sensor.

After we have tested all the sensors. We attempted to put it onto a solderable breadboard to lessen the amount of space consumed, but we failed. This was one day before the winter show. So we went back to the normal ones.

Presentation &  Winter Show
The two-day winter show has been fun. A number of users tested our project and they seemed to like it. The longest record people sit inside it is around 5-minutes after the recording stops.

Tinkle, part 2/2 – website

For ICM finals, I extended our PCOMP project, Tinkle, into a website. The idea is to make user rethink about this intimate space we inhabit every day, and let our thoughts freely flow while on it. After visiting the physical toilet we build, participants either leave messages down or listen to other people’s thoughts, through the website. Thoughts could be random, from daily happenings to life expectancies.

Process:

I drafted the wireframe and make sure the two major functions are clearly presented to users . P5 voice recognition, sound library, and WebGL techniques were implemented into the sketch. The WebGL was painful to work with since my laptop was too old to support any fancy new web technology. The workaround for that is to use Firefox and run local server.


General Feedbacks after Play-test:
– Add background music over voice over
– Make sound visualization more cohesive to sound waves or equalizer
– Simplify the interaction: physical toilet guides the user to think, while website focus on recordings

The ultimate versions of this website will probably looks like this image from Trainspotting movie.