CIID – Tangible User Interfaces
The Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design is running the Interaction Design Pilot Year in collaboration with the Danish Design School. Dave Mellis works there, Massimo was teaching a basic Arduino course some months ago, and I just finished a short position as advisor for their Tangible User Interfaces course. It has been an intense four weeks period where I helped out with the conceptualization of projects, and their technical realization.
The course responsible -Heather Martin- was also one of the brains behind the remarkable “Strangely Familiar” class that ran at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea some years ago and that produced physical computing pieces that are nowadays reference for many courses around the world.
CIID owns a small but pretty red laser-cutter that was broadly used by the students during the development of their projects. I have collected some pictures about the results, you could access them at my flickr account. I haven’t named the objects properly in there. If you are interested in referencing them, you should use the following names:
– Meet the food you eat: a project about scaling the food you eat in terms of the carbon emissions to get it to you. You will compare the food you eat with the trees that will get cut. It runs with an Arduino board controlling a stepper motor, an RFID reader and a hacked scale (from IKEA)
– Dubmate: P2P meets mix-tape, now that filesharing online is becoming more and more complicated, it would be nice to have a way to share files with your pals when meeting them face to face. Make them feel special by passing them your personal selection. This project was solved with self-made boards using Lilypad’s bootloader, some touch sensors from Omrom and a lot of stickers
– Easyrun: what if you go for a run using your iPhone as a music player? And if you get a call? Do you want to be looking at the screen while you do it? This garment will help you controlling the phone with just three soft buttons. Made with a bootloaded ATmega and some digital potentiometers
– Compound Eye: imagine a set of networked cameras that can take pictures simultaneously when one of them is triggered. This is like the digital version of the LOMO camera, that allows real time projections at parties, events, etc. The project included a whole bunch of cameras, one Arduino board, some buttons, and some clever coding in Processing
– FlirtyCup: a set of networked bar glasses that allow people meeting others with similar interests. Offers room for personalization via some printed flyers around the glasses. The project was made with Arduino Pro mini, XBee radios, MicroBee boards (by BlushingBoy), potentiometers and RGB LEDs
– Frontline Gloves: gesture enhanced gloves for firemen. Imagine going around in a smoky room carrying something in one hand and still needing to inform the others about your status. It has the added feature of informing you about the distance to objects in the room. It was solved with Arduino, XBee shield, Ping sensor (ultrasound), some LEDs and a self made silicon display
– 3D calendar (aka CAL3NDAR): a physical calendar for autistic kids. It includes the possibility of displaying events with (printed) pictures, objects and sound recordings. It was built out of ISD flash-sound chips and self made Arduino boards that will trigger the recorded sounds when bringing one of the items out of the shelf
– BunnyBot: resembles Alice in Wonderland with a robot rabbit and an augmented game board. It is a collaborative game where the players have to guide a the BunnyBot through a ad-hoc map on the floor. The goal is to achieve a certain amount of goals in the shortest time possible. The control of the white rabbit is distributed among the players. The colored items on the floor will affect the controls. It was made re-appropriating the models for the Arduino Servo Robot making one of the sides look like a rabbit, adding an XBee shield to remote control the robot and a color sensor to distinguish the floor
There was yet another project in the show, I will however wait until the documentation for it is ready before I blog about it … the guys worked a lot for getting it up and running but happend to die of demo effect short before the show and they deserve a post just for themselves.
Update 20090201: Dave Mellis just uploaded his collection of pictures to flickr, you should check them out, he’s got plenty of shots showing the process of making the prototypes and images like the following where you can see Durrell Bishop, one of the most relevant designers dealing with interactive installations and devices. He flew from London to act as reviewer.