In our current pandemic situation where loved ones cannot easily be with each other physically, our device (and setup) aims to stimulate your loved one’s walking movements in your room. It seeks to highlight distant bodies through the absence of the body.
How the device works
Walking around the space, one’s footsteps are translated into a path of light in a distant room. In both rooms, a path generated by your loved one begins to form and a pair of shoes follow suit. Watching the shoes move, the distant movement is transported by light to the room one is currently present in. The presence of another body either haunts or comforts us through its absence represented by the shoes. The physical distance between is shortened to a lighted path as both distant bodies now move together in their respective rooms.
This is our progress for our Semester Project, Light Distance Away.
Our goals for mid-fidelity stage
Track light and draw lines and curve on processing
Project the line on the floor
Stable LDR tracking system on motors that follows the lines projected
Setting up the area with pixy camera, arduino & projected at the ceiling
Following our low fidelity prototype, we needed to research on how our motor could follow the XY coordinates received. After some consideration, we thought about using light as our method of moving the motors of the automated footwear.
Luckily for us, we already had spent time creating a line in processing which had initially only been there for us to ensure our pathway was tracked. Yet, knowing light could be a viable option, we began to borrow top down projectors and then flipped our code’s background and line colour to display a light line that would draw as one walked around under the pixy camera.
Thus, we began our prototypes and trials, but not before ensuring our pixy cameras were improved.
Our semester project is called Light Distance Away. It aims to send comfort by the hint of another person’s presence despite them being absent through the use of our setup and device. A camera will track User 1’s movements when they are within the display area and a white line will be projected into User 2’s room based on User 1’s movements. User 2 will then be able to see the personless footwear moving based on the projected line in realtime, ironically creating a rather haunting feeling of an absent presence, while comforting the user with the reminder of this presence. The physical distance between is shortened to a lighted path as both distant bodies now move together in their respective rooms.
We started with 2 separate development paths after researching in depth of possible tracking methods:
Make a speculative design or a provotype based on one or more devices of the week.
“[Provotype] is a design artefact — digital or physical — whose main goal is to provoke discussion among different types of users and stakeholders. Here’s the fun part: it is not supposed to be realistic, but ridiculous, funny, obscure, artistic — or even downright annoying instead. (wikipedia).”
“[Speculative design] thrives on imagination and aims to open up new perspectives on what are sometimes called wicked problems, to create spaces for discussion and debate about alternative ways of being, and to inspire and encourage people’s imaginations to flow freely. Design speculations can act as a catalyst for collectively redefining our relationship to reality.”
David Eagleman, a neuroscientist and creator of the VEST brings out the perception of “Your senses limit your reality”. Take the electromagnetic radiation as an example, there are thousands or millions of radiation presence in our surroundings but human doesn’t have the biological receptors for taking in all those data and our vision only allows us to see certain range of colours.
Eagleman mentions our sensory tools “our ears, fingertips and our ears are merely plug-and-play device”, just like the potato head. The brain is the core and figures out “what to do with the data that comes in”. There are different kinds of peripheral devices in the animal world, e.g. snakes have heat pits to detect infrared and birds have magnetite to orient to the magnetic field of earth.
Internet of Things Device: a device that has a sensor attached to it and transmits data to another object or people through the internet.
WOpet Smart Pet Feeder is an internet of things device with camera, speaker and food dispenser.
There are 4 main features of this device:
720P HD Camera
It allows pets owners to voice call, monitor their pet at anytime via the WOpet APP. There are inbuilt speaker, 120 degree wide-angle lens and wifi module for live streaming. It has a food dispenser for users to customize feeding time and feeding portion remotely. The overall concept is to let users to stay connect with their pets via mobile application and the device at anytime and anywhere even they are not physically at the same place with their pets.
Equipped with 7 EEG sensors (electroencephalography), Muse is a brain sensing headband used in sleep and meditation. It monitors brain electrical activity and transmits the data to the muse mobile or online application in real-time via Bluetooth, which analyses the received data and gives sound guidance during the mantra meditation. This wearable device assists users to mediate in a more productive and efficient way to achieve the aim of reducing stress, staying calm and focused.
Ghociant is an immersive experience curated to force it’s viewers to look beyond what their eyes see, to challenge their sense of sight and utilize their auditory and olfactory senses.
In Ghociant, three young designers, Carol, Emma and Hamimah, have fabricated a nature walkthrough, composing elements of sound and smell from the nature around them. The elements are handpicked by the curators in order to maintain originality.