Archive for the ‘project’ Category

Gesture Objects: movie making at the extension of natural play

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I passed my PhD critique successfully! My committee: Hiroshi IshiiEdith Ackermann and Cynthia Breazeal. I will now focus on few more studies and building few more projects as much as I can before graduating (in 9 months). A little bit on my presentation …

1.jpg

Gesture Objects: Play it by Eye - Frame it by Hand!

I started with my master thesis Dolltalk, where I establish the ability to access perspective as part of gesture analysis built into new play environments. I then, move into a significant transition phase, where I research the cross-modal interface elements that contribute to various perspective taking behaviors. I also present new technologies I implemented to conduct automatic film assembly.

3.jpg

The structure of my presentation

At each step, I present the studies that allow me to establish principles which I use to build the final project, the centerpiece of my third phase of research, Picture This. At its final point, Picture This is a fluid interface, with seamless integration of gesture, object, audio and video interaction in open-ended play.

2.jpg

With Picture This! children make a movie from their toys views, using their natural gestures with toys to animate the character and command the video making assembly. I developed a filtering algorithm for gesture recognition through which angles of motions are detected and interpreted!

Finally, I developed a framework that I call “gesture objects” synthesizing the research as it relates to the field of tangible user interfaces.

4.jpg

Gesture Objects Framework: In a gesture object interface, the interface recognizes gestures while the user is holding objects and the gesture control of those object in the physical space influences the digital world.

A .pdf of my slides!

Souvenir from my exhibition in New York with Shada/Jahn

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

3335978877_1ac4aae48b.jpg

… people interacting FULLY with the WOW Pod at the Mixer event in New York. Project I am doing with Shada/Jahn! More about the project ->here -<

Visitors playing with WOW Pod
3336947044_c3b078af54_b.jpg

3336110957_a5730e6829.jpg

3336937944_2cf646b932.jpg

Inside the Pod
3336946458_3b5ccdb47d.jpg

The WoW Pod is an immersive architectural space that provides and anticipates all life needs of the World of Warcraft player. Outfitted with toilet throne, hydration system, and meals at the ready, the WoW Pod makes daily human function possible without ever stepping away from the game. In addition, these tasty meals are cooked via a cookset that connects a hotplate to the computer, allowing the player to let their World of Warcraft avatar know when the meal is ready to eat.

The AFK cookset within the Pod is designed for the hungry role playing gamer who can connect her food items, e.g. Spicy Wolf Dumplings, to her online cooking habits. By scanning in the food items, the video game physically adjusts a hot plate to cook the item for the correct amount of time. The virtual character then jubilantly announces the status of the meal to both the gamer and the other individuals playing online: “O la la my roasted raptor is about to be done!” “Better eat the ribs while they’re hot!” etc. When the food is ready, the system automatically puts the character in AFK (‘Away From Keyboard’) mode to provide the gamer a moment to eat. When the player resumes playing, he/she might just discover his/her character’s behavior is affected by the food consumed in real life — sluggish from overeating or alternately exuberant and energetic.

Here is a short movie-clip that shows what can happen to your avatar when you eat in the Pod!

3336814418_2d6436b10e.jpg

3336053895_39b9634cf0.jpg

3336050265_ab1a8f04ee.jpg

3336918498_c42e2f7411.jpg

inside.jpg

toilet.jpg

3335978501_84aeaa6bcf.jpg

3335984407_dba155352d.jpg

3336047131_9d45f22ab8.jpg

More photos on flickr!

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
…………………………………………………………………………………
Blog Jouons Blog Maison Blog Passion

Art for the World of Warcraft

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I used to play World of Warcraft, I like to have my digital body engaged in breaking down monsters. This can be translated in defining strategies to destroy unstoppable monsters! I reached level 70, raided a lot afterwards and then entirely stopped. In France, I used to play strategy games with 15 players in the same house, creating teams, ordering Pizza and getting tones of Soda. We started on Friday at the end of the afternoon and we stopped on Sunday night.

p2.jpg

These past months I have rarely played any game, but I cherish these addictive gaming moments and decided to design an architectural object that criticizes the process of massive multiplayer gaming, designing a refuge with a survival kit integrated as well as doing something with the laptop that continuously burned my legs while playing! Also reflecting on the intense things that are happening on world of warcraft, such as the multiboxing setup!

Recently, I’ve been awarded a grant by the Council for the Arts at MIT camit-logo.jpg. This grant is to help the design of the AFK cookset and the WOW Pod, projects that will be exhibited from April 2009 until September 2009 at the MIT Museum. I am making these two pieces in collaboration with artist duo Shada/Jahn, with who I always wanted to work with; I recently blogged about one of their work, and presented on this blog many projects by Marisa.
The Pod resembles a mobile structure, however it works as a parasite. Connected to the home, it depends on it, it is stuck to it and uses it for survival. A nice metaphor for the teenager who is oblivious to his addiction and the effect it has on his family house! The AFK cookset benefits from a very annoying feature from the old MacBook Pro, that literally burns your laps while playing. The AFK cookset cooks your diner while raiding, it automatically alerts you and the raiders that you are AFK because your “eggs are ready”!

The AFK cookset
World of Warcraft is a massive online multi-player game that attracts millions of players including a large proportion of teenagers and children as young as 10 years old. A typical scenario for teenagers addicted to the game is to settle down in front of the monitor on Friday night and collapse on Sunday night. Sleep deprivation as well as high saturated fat diet is the pride of these players who barely do not take any break, and when they do they sign the typical “AFK” (“Away from Keyboard”) that pops up of top of their avatar. The average AFK is of two minutes, time to run to the fridge, to open a bag of potato chips, to replenish the glass of milk, or go to the bathroom. We are proposing a design noir aiming at representing the ideal setup for the player to spend more quality time online.

Can you imagine the toll that this extreme behaviour takes on the developing body, not to mention the amount of energy waste produced during such a 48-hour non-stop game? The addiction to World of Warcraft, you see, raises questions about the ecological and physio-morphological consequences of the computer game industry – but WOW players would refuse at any cost to reduce their addiction. Another solution must be considered…

The AFK Cookset harvests the heat produced from an ordinary laptop computer to cook meals. Before beginning a WOW session, the player places a shallow metal box beneath his/her laptop. The player pulls out a metal drawer that contains a tray with subdivisions. In one section, the player implaces powdered milk, powdered eggs, a dash of salt and pepper plus seasoning to taste. This protein-rich herb omelette will be cooked first because of the egg whites’ naturally low cooking temperature. In a second subdivision, the player implaces powdered tomato, water, and basil – a perfect second course tomato bisque to provide Vitamin C-rich soup to ward off scurvy. In the final section, the player implaces a frozen pizza. This pizza will be fully heated about the time the player (warrior) is ready for a third meal.

When each respective recipe is ready, the AFK Cookset WOW Plug-in automatically notifies the player that his/her meal is ready. A graphic, announcing, “Bob’s eggs are ready” is immediately visible to the other players on the “Raid Window.”

A first sketch!
afkcookset2.jpg

The WOW pod
The WOW Pod is an immersive architectural solution for the advanced WOW player that provides and anticipates all life needs. Before entering the WOW Pod for a weekend-full of adventures, the player first stocks the pod: he/she refills the water bag that skins the architectural exterior and pipes liquids directly into the pod via a plastic tube that the player places adjacent his/her mouth. The WOW Pod holds and dispenses up to 3 cannisters of Pringles chips within easy reach of the desktop. The AFK Cookset and backup foodtrays (see description above) provides nutrients to nourish the hungry warrior. Inside, an array of monitors and computers allows the hard-core player to simultaneously control not one – but a whole assembly of players – with ergonomic ease. For instance, normally “multi-box systems” ask the player to use key commands and different mice to switch between players (warrior, magi, etc.). Involving all the latest features of an integrative computing sytem, WOW Pod allows the player to control the magi with his/her elbows, the dwarves with his/her feet pedals, the warrior with his/her hands. The player also has the control to re-program and re-designate the team of warriors according to his/her ergonomic preference.

The exterior of the WOW Pod is a customizable skin that allows the player to publicly demonstrate his/her guild association. Normally, guild affiliations are shown through “tabards”, or wearable insignias. WOW Pod now allows the player to demonstrate to those not online the richness of his/her online identity.

A first sketch
pod.jpg

So far we have a lot of fun! I will update soon as we progress in the building of the two pieces. More soon ….

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] art, game, MediaLab, MIT, World of warcraft, video game, laptop, pod [/tags]

Low cost wearable sensor for detecting Electromagnetic fields

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

bracelet.jpg

My work “Electromagnetic Field Detector Bracelet” has been accepted as a video. The video will be presented at Ubicomp in Seoul South Korea during the one minute madness Monday 22nd and during the video reception 17:15 - 19:00!

Abstract of the work

We present the design of a cost-effective wearable sensor to detect and indicate the strength and other characteristics of the electric field emanating from a laptop display. Our bracelet can provide an immediate awareness of electric fields radiated from an object used frequently. Our technology thus supports awareness of ambient background emanation beyond human perception. We discuss how detection of such radiation might help to “fingerprint” devices and aid in applications that require determination of indoor location.

Come see me to talk about this work! If you cannot make it, here is the video:

Motivation
Today, many people fear electromagnetic fields. They believe that ambient fields can negatively influence their health. Perhaps, by visualizing the presence of common electromagnetic (EM) fields, users might feel in control of difficult-to-perceive information and transcend their fear, beginning the process of recognizing and moving beyond fear. An analogy might be found in the cheap RF power meters that are sold to enable people to gauge radiation leakage from their microwave ovens. Conversely, providing users with blind data could increase their paranoia when low-level field leakage from common appliances is visualized. Clearly, people need to be educated in how to properly interpret this data. Regardless of one’s belief on the health impact of background EM fields, visualizing the unseen in this way always leads to fascinating and playful exploration. All devices emit background signals (electrostatically, magnetically, acoustically, and optically) that are characteristic of particular devices and also sometimes indicate that device’s mode of operation. Indeed, government contracts mandate that computers and displays used in highly classified work be kept in shielded rooms (SCIFs) to thwart espionage that monitors such background leakage fields.

The “Electromagnetic Field Detector Bracelet” has been accepted as a video for Ubicomp 2008, Seoul South Korea!

Press on Engadget and Make Magazine.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] , bracelet, consumer, culture, DIY, electromagnetic field, EMF, fashion, Media Lab, MIT, mobile, project, technology [/tags]

Jabberstamp awarded by I.D. magazine!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

logo.jpg Jabberstamp earned an honorable mention as one of the 23 finalists from over 2,500 entries to I.D. magazine’s 2008 Student Design Review! Working on Jabberstamp with Hayes Raffle and Ruibing Wang was exceptionally fun and inspiring, I am glad it won an award!!

-> The I.D. review <-

id_sep_sdr_jabber.jpg

A child playing with Jabberstamp and me in the background blurred by the magical photoshop touch! 

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] product design, culture, children, media, project, MIT, MediaLab [/tags]

Film assembly using toy gestures

Friday, July 11th, 2008

July 2008 Picture This! Project by Cati Vaucelle

My full paper Picture This! Film assembly using toy gestures has been accepted as a full paper for the technical conference on ubiquitous computing: UbiComp 2008. With an acceptance rate of less than 19% for technical papers in the field, it is very encouraging!

Abstract

We present Picture This! a new input device embedded in children’s toys for video composition. It consists of a new form of interaction for children’s capturing of storytelling with physical artifacts. It functions as a video and storytelling performance system in that children craft videos with and about character toys as the system analyzes their gestures and play patterns. Children’s favorite props alternate between characters and cameramen in a film. As they play with the toys to act out a story, they conduct film assembly. We position our work as ubiquitous computing that supports children’s tangible interaction with digital materials. During user testing, we observed children ages 4 to 10 playing with Picture This!. We assess to what extent gesture interaction with objects for video editing allows children to explore visual perspectives in storytelling. A new genre of Gesture Object Interfaces as exemplified by Picture This relies on the analysis of gestures coupled with objects to represent bits.

Introduction

We connect to our world using our senses. Every one of our senses is a knowledge shopper that grounds us in our surroundings [1]: with touch, one feels the texture of life, with hearing one perceives even the subtlest murmurs of our existence, with vision one clarifies their instincts. But human senses are not only about perception. We use gesture to apprehend, comprehend and communicate. We speak to ultimately translate and exchange with others. We visualize, record, and playback events using our memory to reflect on our history and to be immersed in experience. We as children and adults are engaged in everyday pretense and symbolic play. We embed and later withdraw from the world, using imagination to project ourselves into situations [35]. Our mental constructs are necessary to reach a deeper understanding of our relationship with our environment [3]. Children are offered stories by adults and are driven into fantasy play. They use toys to externalize and elaborate their mental constructions [8]. With character toys they create interrelationships and plots, a means to expose their social knowledge: knowing about human beings and social relationships [33]. If the toy has an immediately accessible visual perspective, a new world is opened to the child. The toy brings her into exploring visual and narrative perspectives of character props, expanding the discovery of her environment.

We imagine a world in which people play, create and exchange visual narratives with ease and transparency. Motivated by the playful improvisational environment of child storytelling with toys, we have developed a new category of video editing tools progressing towards the child’s natural expression of play. In Picture This! we combine the activity of play with the video making process. Whereas play emphasizes spontaneity and improvisation, video making necessitates structure and composition. We were inspired by the theater play of Goethe’s childhood [35], investigating what technology could add to the narrative and play experience. We use technology to offer visual feedback regarding how the scene looks like from the point of view of an imaginary audience. The child storyteller enters the world of the movie maker. Cameras become part of a toy system showing how things look from a toy’s point of view. They can be integrated in Lego people, car drivers, and even coffee mugs! The video process, supported by gesture induced editing, benefits children in practicing social interrelationships and visual perspective taking.

http://www.architectradure.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/picturethisdiagram1.jpg

More about the system ->here<-

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

[tags] project, design, toy, MIT, Media Lab, personal, technology, mobile, video, gesture object interfaces, children, play, storytelling [/tags]

Fashionable Technology: The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Book
I have authored a chapter in the book Fashionable Technology, edited by Sabine Seymour!

I present my work on fashion garments designed in the context of technology -including the Touch Sensitive apparel developed with Yasmine Abbas. The book just came out and is available for pre-order on Amazon -> here<-

Abstract: The interplay of electronic textiles and wearable technology, wearables for short, and fashion, design and science is a highly promising and topical subject. Offered here is a compact survey of the theory involved and an explanation of the role technology plays in a fabric or article of clothing. The practical application is explained in detail and numerous illustrations serve as clarification. Over 50 well-known designers, research institutes, companies and artists, among them Philips, Burton, MIT Media Lab, XS Labs, New York University, Hussein Chalayan, Cute Circuit or International Fashion Machines are introduced by means of their latest, often still unpublished, project, and a survey of their work to date. Given for the first time is a list of all the relevant information on research institutes, materials, publications etc. A must for all those wishing to know everything about fashionable technology.

->Buy the book<-

Three days in Vancouver, Canada …

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Granville

Granville Island

Vancouver

I was off for a few days to Vancouver city, the town that brings together the mountain, the ocean and the forest. I was here to give a talk at Simon Fraser University for the 25th Anniversary of the Faculty of Business Administration. The department will make a DVD of the talk (for education purposes only).

My trip to Vancouver was delightful! My hosts: Dr. Judy Zaichkowsky (Research Director and Marketing Area Co-ordinator) and Dr. Olga Volkoff, professor MIS, were fantastic. From my stay in a lovely hotel (Four Seasons Hotel), walking, driving trips throughout Vancouver, boat tour to reach the Island where all you find is handmade craft work as well as houses floating on the water, to the most delicate restaurant: Le Crocodile, I never felt so empowered in giving a talk!!! The crowd was enthusiast and receptive: a combination of business & art & tech professors and students with business attendees. The research we do in our group was embraced and according to many comments and emails after the talk: inspiring. Nothing better than being inspiring!! So I go back home with wonderful souvenirs, great contacts, cute pictures (I had my iPhone so took a tone!!).

Campus
The Surrey Campus, Simon Fraser University.

I felt in love with the Simon Fraser University, the business department and … the city!!! I recommend to any of you who have never been to Vancouver to immediately jump in the first flight/train. You might have to discover by yourself, but the city is so people friendly that I don’t think you will have any difficulty exploring around.

I recommend (in any order)
. Granville Island : take a boat, that comes every 5 min, to go to the island. The prettiest collection of craft boutique and floating houses!
. The museum of archeology: outstanding collection of native Canadian art.
. Winners : great shopping for students, dixit Judy. I found a special edition of Addidas
. Holt Renfrew: great shopping to find designers and tailored clothing. I found a Burberry white trench coat (sold out anywhere else) and tailored trousers. I must admit that Canadians in Vancouver are particularly sweet, gentle, helpful and smiling!
. Le crocodile restaurant: a special recommendation, the French food there is excellent.
. Stanley Park
. Gastown
. Take the Skytrain to have an idea of the scope of the city!!
and dont forget to check out the inspiring talks and series at SFU!!!

Chairs

A special thank to Pet Nilsson for his great comments and thoughtful blog!

Voilà!

More about inspiring research in interaction design SOON …

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
…………………………………………………………………………………
Blog Jouons Blog Maison Blog Passion

Attachments to artifacts: Collect to connect to construct

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

I am thrilled! My proposal for book chapter titled Attachments to artifacts: Collect to connect to construct has been accepted! It will be part of the first Franco-English book that will tell you all you ever wanted to know about new technologies of the self, mobilities and (co-)constructions of identities.

In this book chapter, I’ll explore the psychological trade-off between what we call virtual and tangible “attachments”: I focus on people’s attachments to things, and through things, their relations to people (virtual and digital). I address the digital object collection mechanism in relation to the way we gather artifacts in the physical world.

Edited by Fred Dervin, Senior Lecturer, Department of French Studies, University of Turku, Finland and partner in crime Yasmine Abbas, Doctor of Design, Harvard, USA, ReD Associates, Denmark. The book will be published in Autumn 2009. More info ->here<-

SYNOPSIS extraits/excerpts, in both French and English

L’hypermobilité physique comme virtuelle qui touche les individus contemporains conduit à multiplier les récits et discours sur les rencontres avec les autres, mais aussi avec soi-même. Qu’ils soient issus de migrants, membres de diasporas, réfugiés, personnes en mobilité à court ou long-terme, résidents virtuels, internautes, etc., ces témoignages sont transmis à travers différents média et espaces personnels et publics: du simple coup de téléphone au site internet et à l’e-mail, ou à travers des autobiographies, des témoignages écrits et oraux, des articles de presse, des documentaires, etc. L’avènement de nouveaux espaces relationnels tels que ceux proposés par les Webs 2.0 et 3.0 (weblogs, podcasts, vidéocasts, Facebook, Second Life, Youtube…) offre la possibilité à la fois de faire partager ses expériences de mobilité au quotidien et de construire son soi face à/avec des millions d’interlocuteurs potentiels et ce, de manière multimodale. La présence de ces témoignages de mobilité, qui s’apparentent à des actes de confession, donne accès à des données intéressantes et inédites dans plusieurs langues et cela, de façon illimitée…

The new interpersonal spaces created by web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies seem to correspond to the technologies of the self that Michel Foucault (1988) has addressed in his lectures at the Collège de France at the beginning of the 1980s. These new technologies enable the individual’s self to emerge publicly and to be worked upon with its “disciples”: be they companions in Second Life, readers (for example on a blog) or listeners (Podcasts). With high speed Internet access and increasingly generous capacities of storage (mp3, USB keys, iPhone, portable computers…), the opportunities for staging the self have become unlimited…

MEDIA TREATED blogs, forum, Life Forms, MMS, moblogging, mondes virtuels, photo et vidéo, photos et vidéos mobiles, robots de compagnie, sites Internet, téléphones portables. | Craigslist, digital artifacts, Del.ici.ous, World of Warcrafts, Facebook, Gaming, Geolocalisation, MMORPG, retail surveillance devices, SilkRoad online, Social Networking, YouTube, WWOOF, Second Life.

THEMES Photographies en mobilité, espaces relationnels, hétérogénéité culturelle, industries culturelles, identités migratoires, identité hmong, diaspora, NOTICs (Nouveaux Objets issus des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication), infoguerre, mouvement en danse, personnage virtuel, avatars, Autre imaginaire, voyage réel et virtuel | Attachment, backpacking, collection, collective identity, participatory culture, politics, rhythm, second self, tourism, tribalism, virtual nomadism. Attachment, backpacking, collection, collective identity, participatory culture, politics, rhythm, second self, tourism, tribalism, virtual nomadism.

Parka

I could not help but join this picture sent to us by Edith Ackermann, also selected by Yasmine Abbas, because it directly refers to the ideal of mobility and its beautiful sacrifice. Edith says:” i am in Switzerland moving out from my apartment: a sweet dump i had rented since i am a student, filled with paintings from my grand father, mom’s carpets, and leather coated books. i never had to let go of so many evocative objects at once. a bit overwhelming really, but i guess i will feel lighter once i am done. good i have my “final home” coat, a gift from my japanese friend noboyuki…. objects come, objects go! and so do people :) ” Edith tells us all about it ->here<-

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure
…………………………………………………………………………………
Blog Jouons Blog Maison Blog Passion

Body Mnemonics

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Media Lab just had an Open House and my adviser offered me to present in the auditorium my latest research! I was so thrilled. I also demoed Picture This! during the Open House.

I had fascinating discussions with sponsors, very engaging, challenging and all of it relevant to our common explorations for new interactions design with current technologies. Researching on gesture interfaces, and new meaning for gesture interaction, i.e gestures that have a meaning to retrieve or interact with data, I regularly refer to Body Mnemonics project by Jussi Angesleva, who was researcher with me at the mythical Media Lab Europe in Ireland.

Mnemonics

I realized I never blogged about this work; it is a really cool project, and pioneer in its vision.

Body mnemonics is a meta tool for portable devices that enhances their usability, shifts the interaction to the periphery of our concentration and makes them more responsive to our cultural background on the basis of three principles: proprioceptic sense, body image, and the “method of loci” mnemonic device.

Joelle

Joelle Bitton (also MLE ex-fellow) showing her data storage locations!

Using inertial sensing a portable device’s movements in 3D space can be tracked, analysed and referenced to the posture of the user. This enables a user to store and access information on his or her own body space. For example, online banking information could be accessed by moving the device to your back pocket. Similarly, your music archive could be located at your ear.

More on the web site !

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure