November 24, 2007
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October 2, 2007
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May 24, 2008
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Midterm Project Proposal

Project Members: 
Hsin-Hsien Chiu
Seung Wook Kim

Interactive Chair: A Body-Oriented Approach to Interact with 3D Virtual World

Hsin-Hsien Chiu, Seung Wook Kim

In everyday life, we spend most of time sitting on a chair. While our both hands get busy with holding a book, writing a memo, or manipulating keyboard and mouse, the rest of our body is suspended on the seat pan or backrest of the chair. Although human body often expresses our need or intention in the form of a posture or an action, the use of chair has conventionally excluded such feedback from our daily intellectual activities. The interactive chair, as we propose herein, is expected to provide more natural way to interact with the computer by sensing or responding to our bodily actions.

Intended Use Cases
The interactive chair can be naturally applied in navigating the 3D virtual world that utilizes the spatial orientation and the perspective mechanism associated with our physical body. For example:

  1. MMORPG: where both hands can be saved for various actions other than navigating.
  2. Educational-purpose 3D environments: where most users are not familiar with rapid and accurate control of keyboard and mouse.
  3. Occupants' control of HVAC systems: HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System) could be modified by occupants’ control according to individual demand via manifold human gestures interacting with interior furniture.

1. Potential sensing devices (input)

  1. Using force sensitive resistor, potentiometer, and/or accelerometer, IR sensor, etc.
  2. Mounting positions of sensors on the chair: swivel axis, seat pan, and/or footrest, etc.

2. Mapping input data to actions in the 3D world
a) Changing the direction of gaze:
Mapping the swivel angle of chair into the viewing direction in the virtual world
b) Changing the moving direction:
Interpreting the pressure distribution on the seat into the moving direction

3. Potential 3D Application (output)

  1. Torque game engine-based 3D World (C++), or
  2. Java3D-based simple application (alternative)

Related Works (more to come)
1. Galen Cranz. “The chair: rethinking culture, body, and design,” New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
2. Hong Z. Tan, Lynne A. Slivovsky, and Alex Pentland, "A sensing chair using pressure distribution sensors," IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 261-268, 2001.


Observation - It's so true

Observation - It's so true that we spend a lot of the time sitting and it's a worthy place to look for added interaction.

System - The system is very vague in it's current description and sounds like a chair sensor designed for generic use. For your final project, you may want to consider a more specific application that leverages the value of having a posture sensor and go from there. You have listed three use-cases of your system where it may be interesting to choose one and flush out that design.

Use- Cases -- So it's interesting to take into account posture in our interaction with systems, but for many of your examples, it's unclear how posture in a chair provides a unique advantage over other technologies, such as VR. Please think carefully about how posture plays a role in interactions and remember this is more an interaction design class then a technology design class. What are the unique affordances and constraints of chairs as an interaction device?

Related Work - There has been a project that specifically looks at the chair, and posture. Consider looking at "Toward a Learning Companion that Recognizes Affect" by Picard, "Building on Everyday Play by Haiyan Zhang

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