Physical Computing

Ball Game Update: Final! Winter Show! - December 21, 2017

This is a post about the final updates to our ball game and the 2017 ITP Winter Show. For more about the project’s conception and prototyping, look here, and for our planning process, look here, and for some on our fabrication, look here, and again here. Final User Testing Our in-class discussion and feedback for our final project presentation focussed on opportunities for increasing subtlety and complexity in how we presented information.

Carnival Ball! - December 15, 2017

This is a post about the last stage of our arcade / carnival game construction and coding. For a bit more about the project’s conception and prototyping, look here, and for our planning process, look here, and for some on our fabrication, look here. After last week’s user testing session in class, April and I focussed our last week of work on improving two aspects of our construction and design:

Final Project Planning - November 08, 2017

On Planning How do we allow creative flexibility into a project timeline while recognizing the logistical needs of getting it done? This question comes up at some point in any project’s maturation from idea to mockup to fully realized creation. How do we maintain a flexible and evolving understanding of the project’s goals throughout a planning process which by design tries to ‘nail things down’? Personally, I find that planning – specific and tedious planing – is not a limiting activity, but raises questions which ultimately lead to a greater understanding of the project and how to execute on it.

PComp: Serial Communication - October 18, 2017

Serial Communication: This week, I used a potentiometer as a game controller for a “Helicopter Game” I made for ICM. The potentiometer was connected to an analog input pin of my Arduino Uno, which was connected Serially (through the p5.serialcontrol application) to my p5 sketch. There is currently a slight delay, so I would like to switch from the ASCII to RAW protocol and try some of the techniques from this video to speed it up.

(UPDATE) Midterm Brainstorming Process - October 18, 2017

UPDATE (Oct 25, 2017): This post is about the project concept and interaction design elements of our midterm. For more about the construction and coding process, see Yifan’s post here. With a midterm project idea as simple as ours – “oh! it is kind of like Skee Ball” – we were able to delve quite deep into the details of the interaction design and execution for our game. Because the goal was simple (to have fun), and our success in that goal immediately obvious when watching someone play, our process was not bogged down in navel-gazing or ruminations on the nature of play.

Physical Computing: Servo Control - October 04, 2017

Over the course of this week’s labs, I made a simple mechanical linkage out of foam-core, hot glue, and a bit of metal rod which uses a servo to control the angle of a camera in the up-down direction. What I discovered was that mechanical linkages are almost completely foreign to me. Despite that our lives are filled with them, and I can name dozens of applications for mechanical linkages in my daily life, I have very little frame of reference by which to pre-visualize their operational characteristics.

Interaction Observation - September 27, 2017

Point of sale interactions – and the systems which facilitate them – are among the most impactful and unfortunately boring interactions we have with technology on a day-to-day basis. They are impactful because we use them for nearly every financial transaction at a store or restaurant and their usability (or lack thereof) affects our impressions of the vendor vis-a-vis trust, competence and ‘coolness.’ They are boring because their ideal state is one of being unnoticed.

Electronics Lab - September 20, 2017

For week two of Physical Computing, we are doing a lab on basic electronics: soldering and switches. I wanted to find a way to use a mini joystick from the electronics store in this lab. The joystick has three possible movements: forwards / backwards right / left pushbutton click My first task was to discover exactly how each of these movements translated into an electronic signal.

What is Physical Interaction? - September 13, 2017

What is physical interaction? In Chris Crawford’s “The Art of Interaction Design,” we are presented with a concise definition for interaction: “_a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.” _This definition is general to all types of interaction and does not mention the means by which this interaction happens. ”Listen, think, and speak,” in this case can refer to any sort of interaction, not just verbal.