I’ve been following Meow Wolf on social media from a very long time ago, even before I decided to take Interactive Media. Knowing that I am creating works that are in the same frequency as them feels slightly surreal and bizarre, and unknowingly enough they may have inspired me at certain times, thus I will be presenting on this group as my artist/studio inspiration.
My name is Amanda Lee and I am an Interactive Media student in the school of Art, Design and Media. I have a passion in exploring the quirky and interesting aspects of life by linking psychological concepts with physical elements, creating works that invoke the 5 senses to enable maximum exposure of the work to my audience. Interactivity, execution and audience reactions are aspects that I take note of when i am creating an artwork and i make sure that the audience not only has fun, but also have takeaways from the conceptual side of the work. In order to execute that, I have worked with a variety of software, such as TouchDesigner and Processing. These softwares help to create mesmerising works that are whimsical and light-hearted, yet thought-provoking to the audience.
The slides for my self introduction and works can be found here!
The first device that came to mind when the term speculative design was mentioned was the Kuri Mobile Robot.
A B O U T
The Kuri Mobile Robot is a home robot that is designed for entertainment in the household. Unlike robots that focus on house cleanliness, and connectivity with the different devices in your home, Kuri is like a smart pet that can provide real-time emotional feedback to the voice and provide audio entertainment. It is similar to a monitor camera as live feedback can be activated by the user of the application to see what is going on in the household and it also sends notifications to the application user if there is unusual activity in certain areas of the home. Customized messages and missions can be told to Kuri through the application (using IoT), such as “check if Suzy has returned home” or “make sure the cat is not on the kitchen table”, and Kuri would know how to navigate to the specific room or area to check.
Unfortunately, the Kuri robot has cancelled its production and Mayfield Robotics has closed down. Thus giving me the inspiration to build on the current features that the Kuri Robot possesses and make it more appealing and practical to the modern household
ToBot : Bringing people together in a household
Concept: To bring people together within a home physically and emotionally.
With Coronavirus making a huge impact on peoples’ lifestyles, many people are distant both physically and emotionally. That applies to family members in a home as well. Increased work from home schedules create unwanted tension as these family members do not know how to navigate the house at foreign timings when they should be in the office, or chance upon some unknown habits of the other family member. Thus, the ToBot is here to make sure family members can sort out their schedule and navigate around the household more smoothly, thus creating less disturbence and unwanted tensions.
The ToBot can register in each member’s daily schedule and customise them accordingly by giving each member a notification of the other member’s activity state within the household, or notify if any activities clash (e.g. mealtimes for lunch/breakfast). The ToBot can also help to arrange common timings for activities such as destressing activities to get away from work, family movie time, family dinner, etc. The ToBot can travel to each room to notify or gather the family members for these activities or send them the day’s activity log whenever a member calls for the ToBot. Using a neutral device to gather people can create less arguments as well.
In terms of practicality, the ToBot can include the basic cleaning capacities that household cleaning devices contain (vacuum, smart home control) but it can also contain an auto disinfectant spray and conduct daily house disinfecting (in light of covid). The entertainment aspects of it remains somewhat the same, where it plays music and videos (and light displays).
The BrainPort Vision Device aids the visually impaired to perceive their surroundings by enhancing their tastebuds. Consisting of a frame camera and an electro tactile array, the user is able to interpret their environment by feeling the stimuli on the surface of their tongue. More specifically, the pictures captured on the camera that is mounted on framed glasses are converted to a pattern of electronic impulses and then sent to the electro tactile array which is attached to the user’s tongue. The impulses are then sent to the different sensory centers of the brain for interpretation.
It may seem strange at first, but the visually impaired who have tried this device were able to make out shapes and people after a while of practice. This marks a monumental peak in technology, especially in the sensory aspect.
A D V A N T A G E S
Able to aid the visually impaired into “seeing” or sensing their surroundings
Enable the visually impaired to be more independent in life
The device can be used for not just the visually impaired, but people with other conditions as well, such as quadriplegia.
Users can operate it independently with a handheld controller
It uses a rechargeable battery
D I S A D V A N T A G E S
The usage of tastebuds in the tongue it is slightly inconvenient especially during mealtimes when the device needs to be removed.
Debates have said that this device doesn’t really let the user see objects, but instead only perceiving them in their brain
This technology cannot be adapted to work on senses the brain does not already have.
The BrainPort requires daily usage in order for the brain to register this sensation and better identify the body’s surroundings using this method.
The cost of the device is $10,000 so it cannot be afforded by many
A minor side effect will be the metallic taste from the electro tactile array