Getting close to a testable version of Paper Street View. I have made some changes to the marker which is small, but with parts that can be added to make it easier to use. I’m also using magnets, after experimenting with weights I decided they had to be too big and cumbersome for the marker to be nice to use – it became more like a mouse than a marker or board game piece. The magnet marker can be picked up and slid around. Should it be dropped then it is stopped by the magnet and when knocked over it bounces back up. The retracting bobbins can also be attached to the board with magnets and rolled up maps can be held flat. The only issue with the magnets is the use of a compass for looking around, this has to be on a long mast so that it is not too close to the board. After much debate and trial and error I am going to have a marker for location and a device which i’m working on for looking around. There are also lot’s of ideas for it’s future use in the project which is great.Read More
Interactive Teaware was exhibited and presented at the Research Through Design 2013 conference (Praxis and Poetics). Here is the abstract and paper for anyone that’s interested.
Interactive Teaware was designed to support conversation and socialisation while having tea and coffee. We discuss themes emerging from the design of Interactive Teaware in order to propose characteristics that we believe constitute appropriate, meaningful and useable interaction design for older people living in care homes. These include the integration of digital artefacts into a resident’s daily life, as opposed to scheduled activities. Given that life in the care home is often associated with disempowerment, we propose augmenting residents’ existing abilities. We also assert that digital artefacts need to avoid negative stigmas through medical styling and instead enforce a positive and familiar identity through the use of associated materials, such as porcelain. Implications for design stem from insights gained through time spent in the care home.Read More
I’ve been making some possible marker designs for Paper Street View.Read More
This is the first working version of Paper Street View. The artifact uses paper maps and a physical marker with Google Street View. My aim is to provide older people in care homes a means to engage with and share places that are meaningful to them. The panorama will be projected large scale on to a screen. Among many other things, future work includes designing a familiar and easy used marker. To make a second artifact that allows you to look around and to also include zones of sounds and panoramas of the inside of buildings people are interested in. Bigger maps and smaller scaled maps also work, you just have to know the latitude and longitude of the corners of the map, and its dimensions. For further information on how it works see the posts below.Read More
I’ve just returned from a wonderful week of talks and poster presentations at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. Above is the poster I presented during the week. It’s an introduction to my PhD work.Read More
My first shot of a bare conductive pen led to a card celebrating a camp site in Montrose where I spent happy times with my girlfriend. As part of my PhD research I’m developing a workshop for older people, which encourages them to reflect on places that hold meaning to them. It’s going to include a combination of craft and prototypes I’ve developed (i.e. this). Hopefully these will get people chatting and sharing anecdotes and experiences around place. My plan is to have lot’s of maps at hand and perhaps a printer to get places on demand. I’m keen to introduce them to electronics in craft and hopefully get them excited about the novelty of lighting an LED. If all goes well I think it would be amazing to hold more workshops like this.Read More
I’ve been working on a prototype that easily and cheaply locates a marker on a paper map. The following video demonstrates a method of measuring distance with a pulley (basically a cheap string pot). It makes use of a retracting key chain, a multi-turn pot that’s connected to the .NET gadgeteer and laser cut wheels.
I’m surprised how accurate it is even with a wonky wheel. The end game is to have two of these on either corner of a map allowing the triangulation of a markers exact position on a map. More to follow. In the video each ruler is 30cm long.
Another .NET Gadgeteer workshop, this time with students from TU/e in Eindhoven.Read More
Another two day .NET Gadgeteer workshop took place on the 12th and 13th February, this time at Northumbria University. Attendees included a diverse mix of 3rd year students from 3D, Design for Industry (DFI) and Media Design courses. This was hosted principally by Tim Regan, with myself and James Thomas helping out. On the fist day Tim gave an introduction and presented a series of follow along tutorials with design inspirations introducing each. The result was an entertaining mix of craft, design and technology. The tutorials included the coding and building of a digital camera, complete with a specially designed cardboard case that you fold and slot the Gadgeteer modules into (shown above).
On the second day students separated into groups and built experience prototypes. Again, it was impressive how much the students achieved in such a short space of time and we were able to have a show and tell at the end. The protoypes ranged from a modern game of tag that tweets and takes photo’s through to an automatic toilet roll holder.Read More
For more info the images below include descriptions of selected students projects.
Two lots of .NET Gadgeteer workshops for Product Design students were held at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) on the 21st, 22nd, 27th and 28th of January. Attendees included 3rd and 4th year undergraduate and master’s students with little or no prior experience of programming. Hosting the workshops were myself and Tim Regan from Microsoft Research Cambridge. The workshops were sponsored by Microsoft Research Connections in Cambridge.
.NET Gadgeteer is a rapid-prototyping platform that is ideal for quickly testing design ideas. Throughout the workshops, GHI’s FEZ Spider starter kits and a host of extra sensors and outputs were used. The aim was to introduce students to the use of physical computing in product design. Being able to test and experience ideas first hand through working prototypes can provide designers with a clearer understanding of how a user might interact with a product, allow them to iterate and test ideas with users and can spark new ideas through play.
The first day of the workshops involved an introduction to the prototyping platform, the installation of software, and tutorials that familiarised students with the basic knowledge required to get started. Among other tutorials, students were shown how to detect black lines or markings using a light sensor and made a simple digital camera.
On day two students used their imaginations to build lo-fi experience prototypes using the .NET Gadgeteer and materials they had found lying around. The day was then concluded with a show and tell. With less than 8 hours to get from an idea, to a working prototype, was no easy task. However, students rose to the challenge! Given the quality of all the projects, we have picked a few examples that show the scope and diversity of the prototypes built.
The .NET Gadgeteer platform proved ideal for exploring ideas through experience prototypes and suited the fast-paced workshop format. Students were able to see their ideas turn into working and wireless prototypes (using the battery packs) with no soldering or in depth knowledge of electronics. The platform also suited the use of lo-fi materials such as cardboard and the mounting of components using craft materials such as sellotape and Blu-Tack. By the end of both days there appeared great enthusiasm to learn more and possibly use the kit as part of their working process.Read More