fredag 29. februar 2008

Workshop till you drop

After having two lectures (StigogStein) about how to plan and arrange a workshop earlier this week, Marianne and me arranged our very first workshop. 

We did not have a specific problem definition of our project yet so we placed our bets on defining it in the workshop. We did however have a main task and a direction we wanted to work within. "We want to improve peoples social life with the use of RFID". 

As an introdution the participants were asked to list up their web-based and their physical networks and to comment positive and negative aspects of those networks. This task was more of a user survey nature that provided us with data on social networks but it also tuned our mindsets in for the workshop. 
Based on the main task we asked the partcipants to formulate possible problem definitions. There were several suggestions that we dicussed but since we noticed an extra interest in a certain direction we ended up with: "How can we make new social settings more comfortable?"

Based on the definition we were now ready to use the creative tools. Starting off with assosiative words , grouping them, giving the groups names: Heartbeat, Home, Play, Wizard, Self-Promoting, Julebord.
Then we took one word from the assosiations and mix it with the group tittle to make new constellations that generates ideas which answers our problem.

It proved to be a really productive session. Lots of good and interesting ideas popped up that we feel can be subjects for iterations.

Some reflections on the practical aspects of a workshop:

-write answers big on the wall. People like to share and se what others have answered. We like to see our own contribution on the wall. Ownership.

-keep one focus. It is enough with only one person taking notes or it will decrees attention. If you write on the wall, all the focus should be on the wall. If you sit around a table, all the focus should be on the table and so on..  

-keep up the speed. The process becomes more productive with a moderate time pressure.

-try to motivate and engage the persons that is not contributing or is lacking focus. Do it in a positive and optimistic way. 

-try to make people elaborate the answers if they are to diffuse or not to the point. Ask them "yes but -why do you think that ... -what is it with...-how did you...etc.

-it is much better to stand than to sit. People tend to get more engaged mentally when they move physically

-remember to take breaks.

-show pictures and make people evaluate them

-sessions tend to last longer than planned

-explain the task carefully so that everyone does the same thing (ex. when generating ideas they should be concrete, because then they will be easier to discuss

Feedback from tutors

-make decisions on what kind of social environment  and social relationship we want to work with (family, strangers, friends, colleagues, classmates etc..) 

torsdag 28. februar 2008

Living objects

Nanotechnology can be quite inspiring in relation to the social life of objects. Don't know exactly how this technology would be implemented but I think that the ability for things to change shape in that way will reinforce the impression of objects commming to life. This is maybe the layer that is missing now that objects becomes more and more intelligent yet they are to a high degree static in their shape.

tirsdag 26. februar 2008

Four-legged RFID

Thought about working with pets and tags. This is one of the reasons not to. 

Many ways of solving this ofcourse so it could be fun to work with. After all, pets are social objects aren't they?

mandag 25. februar 2008

Social life of objects

"The interesting thing about Social Objects is not the object itself, but the conversations that happen around them" ... "Social Networks are built around Social Objects, not vice versa." 
Hugh Macleod, Gapingvoid.

I am hooking up with classmate Marianne as we are concidering working in the area of social objects. What is a social object? Is it another word for sharing advice? What differenciate social objects from other objects?  

"The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They're not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object"

Tactic Table inspirations

Imagine using this technology to instruct the higly dynamic game of football. Also including  RFID-tagged players on the pitch for positioning their representations on the table. 

Tactic Table

Inspired be the touchscreen found in different projects like the Microsoft Surface I Wonder if this could be applied to the tactic table for football. The existing solution is inspite of it's movable magnetic objects, quite limited in use. A dynamic touchscreen with graphics would provide the trainer with a much richer interface and a better tool to conveie the teams strategy.

søndag 24. februar 2008

Some loose ideas

Random encounters
We have all experienced the often plesant contact with complete strangers. Like sitting on the bus and a person entering and slips in the stairway creating a comical situation that just has to be commented to the person sitting next to you. A sudden and random contact is created and I would say it often feels very nice and as a relief oppose to the silent and impersonal space on a bus. 
Is it possible to create encounters like these through manipulation yet making the experience feel real and not staged?
What are the social principals of such situations? Is it our need for assosiates so that we can approve or differenciate us from our environment? 

Major Project - Itteration One

After four minor projects or workshops we now start up the major project that we will work on the rest of this term. Keeping in mind the different design breifs given in the course plan Tangible Interactions 2008 we are to chose a phenomenon or area we want to work in. This is only a starting point so to define our own projects, research the phenomenon, explore similar projects, observe people and behaviours, sketch the observations out will be our job initially. 

In the approach to the this task I am interested in the implmentation of RFID into everday life. Many projects with this technology tend to be of a social networking or community thing like the YellowArrow and such. I assume that very few people are into these cutting edge, behavioral trends. Not said that it's not important or interesting, because I think they do lead to development and change of social behaviour over time. But I think these projects also reflect the pitfalls of working with new technology that you might "over-do" it and that it doesn't become accessable to a wide range of people. I am interested in implementing the technology into everday social situations and enhance and facilitated them through ubi-comp. 

torsdag 21. februar 2008

Tangible interaction projects

Lecture by Timo Arnall and Einar Sneve Martinussen

 part 2

Ubiqutous-city, Korea

-we have the home computer but what happens when we move into public spheres?

-american technologies that are not allowed to be tested in the U.S 



-uses large empty buildings as screens where the windows are individual pixels

Open city(Graffiti research lab)

-drawing machine

-large projections on buildings

-using buildings as paper


-led attached to magnets with batteries that can be thrown onto walls at night

-looking for metal surfaces in the city

-each arrow has a code that you can send a story with 160 characters to a website. the story can then be read by others by sending an sms with the code seen on the specific arrow 

-not very successful; maybe built on false assumptions that people want to tell stories, and that people want to read stories from strangers...

-community engangement

-measures your stress level and maps them to areas where you have been and shows them graphically

-started as an abstract project but may now be used in city planning

-dividing mind and body, map your feelings.

-orientation game, treasure hunt to find your way through the city

-address your destination, then you are given different clues and landmarks to find on your way to the destination. 

-misused as a game rather than a guide tool

Day of the figurines

Air (Area's Immediate Readings)

-portable devices which reads air quality

-many of these carried around be people gives a big picture all together

Blogging pigeons

-what if objects blogged? 


-stickers fitted on the windows

Flash mobs / Eat brains

-internet is great at gathering people together



-apply to a game master, get an ID and register your address, get a mission which is to shoot a person with a water gun

-sell your crafts and products that you have made


-show your crafts and things

Flocks-by christien

-track the milk from the cow in mongolia to the table in cheese form in belgium

Megan Trainor- with hidden numbers

RFID snakes and ladders

Symbolic table

Sharer- by Vinay Venkatraman

Everything is a toy

-decided that everything in the world is a toy

RFID mon Amour

Arithmetic Garden- by Masahiko and Takashi

-physical full scale mathematic game

-walk around through gates with different numbers and solve the equation

Yourday- RFID visitor tracking at Alton Towers

-track your day in an amusement park and get it on DVD at the exit

-consider to change for example this controlled context rather than changing everyday life situations

Moving Pictures

Smart urban intelligence

-maps the places where you have been through the day

Interactions of transactions

One week group task with Ingrid and Kyrre: Re-design of the ticketing system of the public transportation company Ruter in Oslo, with focus the physical interaction between the TVM, the ticket and the validator device.

 The existing system is based on paper tickets purchased either on a TVM, on the bus/train/tube /tram or at the station. The main challenge in this task was to replace the paper ticket with a ticket based on RFID-technology.
We used paper prototyping to work out solutions to different problems concerning purcase of ticket and validating the ticket when in use. Our goal was to make the system easy to use through  few sequenses and understandable grapichs without taking away to much of the user options. 

The new ticket service got the name "SVIPP -turer med Ruter i Oslo" and is a card containing an RFID-tag. The service is devided in two modalities. A non-personal card for single or multiple single travels, and a personal card  for subscription or prepaid amount.

In case of ticket control the Svipp-card can easily be read with a wireless reader.

onsdag 13. februar 2008

Hairfid- a simple RFID interface

The task was to explore the mapping between physical objects, readers and feedback (on screen and sound).
We explored different interactions movements between the RFID-tag and the reader such as hitting, stroking, sliding, pointing, tapping, rotating. We also wanted to experiment with different materials for the object containing the tag and the reader. At one point the reader had become the earth soil, and the tags through their form, materials and movement should represent the four seasons.
This proved to be a quite complex task to solve so instead we focused only one movement, the stroking. Stroke what? The hair ofcourse..

We made a brush with 3 different surfaces and a tag inside for each surface. They give 3 different sensations when stroking through the hair, from smooth to rugged. The reader is put inside a wig. For the output we projected short film clips of a person reacting accordingly to the face of the brush you use to stroke. 


fredag 8. februar 2008

Introduction to Tangible Interactions Studio course 2008


The first week was dedicated to get a overview on the history of design and technology with a focus on the ubiquitous and tangible research, products and services. We were presented to chapters from different litterature within the subjects. They ranged from the spectacular, almost divine foresight of Nicola Tesla in his work from 1916 "Wonders of the future", to the social concience focus of John Thackara in his book "In the Bubble" where the new technology's main goal is to facilitate human behaviours, not to show off skills. "Appropriateness surpasses performance as the key to technological success"

Some specially interresting books:
- John Thackara, "In the Bubble"
- Mark Weiser, "The Computer for the 21st Century"
- Malcom McCullough, "Digital Ground"
- Jane McGonigal, "The Curious Interface"

These readings really was a welcomming approach to the course. A subject like new technology tend to get very, yes, technological. But one should strive to always put the humans in centre rather than the technology. In my opinion this has not been the case in many of the products and services presented for users the passed decades.