hyperSense: Augmenting human experience in environments

Prof Dina El Zanfaly | Carnegie Mellon University, School of Design | Fall ‘20

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9.3 // Intro

Hi! I’m Amrita. I’m currently a second-year MDes student in the School of Design.

I’m a huge fan of popular culture, interactive media, design, and learning. In my free time, you’ll likely catch me watching a quirky comedy show (latest show rec: What We Do In the Shadows), running outside, or spending time with family.

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Prior to CMU, I was a project manager by day and a dance teacher by night. I’ve always been drawn to making, and decided to transition into design by coming back to school. I’ve been at CMU for two years now, and it’s been an awesome experience!

9.8 // Engaging the Body

Design an interaction that engages the body physically.

I was thinking about connection and/or play in remote contexts. Specifically, what are different ways to feel connected to the context of someone else? I thought about two different options, although they could also potentially be stand alone. The first involves light + movement and the second sound + movement.

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9.15 // Arduino + Iterations

Arduino

SOS LED + Piezzo Buzzer Activities

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Interactions

3 ideas that materialize a ceratin interaction

I was thinking about two questions: (1) How might we feel connected to other people in remote spaces? (2)How might we feel connected to other remote environments?

My first two ideas build on and combined ideas I presented last week. Last week, I was urged to think about the sense of touch and incorporate different materials and textures. I was also encouraged to think combining elements of my second idea, specifically sound, into my first idea.

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Idea 3: What are more immersive ways to experience other spaces?

I still feel that I need to add more rich, sensory-based interactions into my ideas.

Case Study Inspiration

9.22 // Refining Interaction + Arduino + Reading Tweets

Refining Interactions

This week, I continued to expand on the idea of connecting two spaces, and continue developing a richer, sensory-based interaction experience.

Connected aquariums through proximity + sound wave detection//visualizing proximity + sound through water, plant movements

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Two small aquarium objects that detect proximity and sound waves. Proximity of someone to the aquarium in space 1, water/algae in space 2 will start to sway (similar to a seafloor). And vice versa. A person can come close and speak to the aquarium, which will cause aquarium in the second space to vibrate faster/seafloor to move faster.

Arduino

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Reading Tweets

Being Outside The Dominion of Time explores the nature of temporality as a human constraint. Temporality is an important concept to study because “it is perhaps the most fundamental constituent of human cognition” (48).

Exploring the Reflective Potentialities of Personal Data builds upon the concept of slow technology to explore how making data more materially present and interactive can open up possibilities for reflective, memory-oriented experiences.

The Perception of the Environment explores the complex nature of temporality in which past, present, and future are intertwined amongst people and the environment.

9.29 // Refining Interactions + Phenomonology Reading Tweet

I’ll be working with Rachel, Christianne, and Isabel for the semester project. We met up this weekend to discuss potential How Might We research questions + possible concepts rooted around them.

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Reading Tweet

Phenomenology: Is the study of consciousness and experience, and the interplay between the body experience/sensations from being in the world. As I read the article, I could not help but think about the idea of “design designs.” That encompasses the loops between humans and the tools humans create and who this relationship that unfolds through time.

Concept Progress

We’re looking to develop a perceptual mirror that connects remote spaces. We’re playing around with concepts of temporality and memory.

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10.14 // Progress + Reading Tweet

It’s been a minute since I’ve updated this process blog. Over the past few weeks, my teammates and I have been refining our interactive installation. We’ve also recently applied for a grant through the Frank-Ratyche Studio for Creative Inquiry. Stay posted!

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Body to LED Mapping

Right now, we’re thinking through the tech-side of this mirror and starting to prototype various, smaller interactions. I’ve been looking into ways to map body position to LEDs. There are a myriad of ways it can be done:

Kinect — Max8 — Arduino — Adafruit Servos

Arduino Uno — Arduino EyeShield — LED Matrix

Webcam — Touchdesigner — Arduino LED Matrix

Arduino — Phototransmitter — LED Matrix

Other Technology to Look Into

  • P5.js (might not need Kinect, but use webcam and pipe through Touchdesigner)
  • ML5.js
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Reading Tweet: CYBORGS! I really enjoyed this reading. I was immediately reminded of Donna Harraway’s The Cyborg Manifesto and of Kara Platoni’s talk Transforming Perception One Sense at a Time. I appreciate that inter-disciplinary groups of people are coming together to discuss long-term symbiotic man-machine futures. Also, I could not help but think about “trust” between human and machine. This encompasses both the trust of a machine working in close coupling with the body and in matters of data.

Written by

Interaction Designer | Carnegie Mellon University, School of Design | MDes ’21

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