November 24, 2007
Reading for November 27th, are now posted. Enjoy!

October 2, 2007
To upload your thoughtless acts, create a new assignment page like any other lab. You'll see "Thoughtless Acts" listed as one of the assignment options.

May 24, 2008
This site has been archived and is no longer editable. Stay tuned for the next version, coming in the fall!

The ball that doesn't just roll

Project Members: 
Igor P



We are proposing an interface that will take physical cues from the user to affect the music playing in the environment.

Our initial plan is to embed a "handle" type of tangible device, tentatively a rubber squeeze ball, with pressure and light sensors so that each action the user performs -- squeeze, cover, etc -- will be recognized and cause a change to continous music playing in the environment.  The direct mapping between each physical interaction and its effect will not be evident, but it will be consisent so the user can discover appropriate patterns and experiment with the music accordingly.  The light sensor would perform the additional function of changing the music to adjust to the amount of light in the room (and therefore the user's mood).

This system can be used for many applications. To name a few: for toying with elevator music, for educating babies/infants on cause and effect through audio feedback, for soundscape managing of real and virtual worlds.


Observation -- the approach

Observation -- the approach taken here seems to be "let's make this interaction tangible and see what happens" which is a perfectly valid approach to design. Here it seems as though you are trying to control the environment (in this case, music) with this tangible device.

System - The system design needs a bit of flushing out before we can understand the type of interaction you are envisioning or why it is interesting. Some questions to ask yourself is "What is it that makes interacting with a music system through this tangible ball more interesting than interacting with the music system through the audio components we have today". This is particularly a relevant question considering the mapping may not be intuitive.. Additionally, you may want to consider other aspects. Perhaps what happens if multiple balls exist in the same room? Or, you could brainstorm about different ways to control music using different form factors, and see if that informs your design.

Related Work - Joe Paradiso's crowd/dancing project ( And Alan Newberger's work on groups selecting music preferences. Look at Audio Pad in relation to management of soundscapes... There are a lot of toys for changing music and educating kids (Leapfrog, etc.)

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet