Experimenting with Kinect

My original final project idea was to create some kind of interactive movement experience using the Kinect. I thought about tracking peoples’ walks and explore how walking in a certain way can tell a lot about someone’s personality. I started experimenting in p5 and started thinking how I would want to make this look visually. I started sketching simple lines and thought about maybe creating a canvas where each line  represents each person’s walk. In the third image you can see that every time the mouse pauses, a cyrcle is drawn and slowly grows depending on how long the mouse is paused in the same position. Also if you drag the mouse faster a thick line is formed and if you drag the mouse slower a thin line is formed. My original thought was if I combined this with the kinectron depending on how big the cyrcle is or how thick the lines are one could tell how fast someone is walking and whether if they pause between steps and for how long. However, when I tried using the program, even with simple lines it seemed like it would freeze and I couldn’t really get the result I wanted. However I intend to explore this idea of movement tracking in the future 🙂

Kinectron Code: https://alpha.editor.p5js.org/alexiak/sketches/HJNWATvZe

Interactive Wallet

For my final in Physical Computing I decided to create an interactive wallet. I had this idea when I heard that  someone from ITP had lost their wallet and started thinking how many times this has happened to my friends and family. This idea of not being able to lose something has always been very intriguing to me because I have always been really devastated when I would lose my phone, my clothes, my jewelry, my money…losing things, especially valuable things is really a big problem and people want to feel safe with things that are valuable to them. Therefore, I decided to explore this idea of creating a wallet that has GPS and every time you text it it will respond with its location.

Brainstorming

I took a piece of paper and started drawing and brainstorming on how I could add more features to my wallet apart from GPS. I observed peoples’ transactions and their behaviors while being in the cashier in several stores for several days. What stroke my attention was that most women were taking more time than usual to give their card to the cashier because they couldn’t remember if their card was in their wallet or if they had just thrown it in the bag. So I thought that maybe I could use a sensor where every time one takes their card of their wallet an LED lights up so you can always know if your card is in your wallet or not instantly without taking so much time in the cashier and irritating the people who are passionately waiting in the cue behind you.

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Playtesting

During playtesting I really learned much more than I thought I would.  I felt a lot of enthusiasm around my idea and got a lot of great input.
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Planning

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LED Switch

So, I initially started doing research on how GPS shields work and what I figured out was that GPS works only when you are outside because the antenna needs to have a clear view of the sky in order to detect the latitude and longitude so I looked for small and powerful GSM boards that sent your location through GSM.

Fabricating

Fabricating the wallet was a really big challenge for me because I haven’t really built something physically since High School. I bought leather and used conductive fabric and conductive tape to create the circuit.

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To hide the cables, I thought that it would be best for now to just create a beautiful case rather than creating a bigger wallet and buying a smaller breadboard and a smaller Arduino. I had too many expenses for this project already…
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User Testing

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Code: https://github.com/alexiak24/interactive_wallet

Shopsessed

For our second assignment, Ariana and I created the story of a shopaholic girl named Chloe. We first show Chloe’s life as a child, where she is pure and happy with small simple things like riding her bike in the neighborhood. As she gets older she is becoming more and more influenced by her surroundings by watching TV, looking at ads, spending time on social media that she gets dragged into this tunnel of materialism. Once she is older, Chloe becomes so influenced by the materialistic society around her, that she ends up consuming clothes (literally) by eating whatever she buys. We show her going through stages of shopping. In the first stage she eats two products and feels very happy and fulfilled. In the second stage she eats three products and feels less happy and in the third stage she eats more products and feels even less happy. This is basically what happens with every type of addiction so we wanted to communicate this negative relationship of happiness duration vs consumption in the last scene. In the end, she goes home where it is covered in clothes and bags, but under all those clothes, the house is empty – and that is when she realizes that she is living an empty life with no real fulfillment.

Inspiration

Ένα βίντεο που δημοσίευσε ο χρήστης franknitty3000 (@franknitty3000) στις

 

 Storyboard

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Shooting

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Editing

The whole process was very challenging and time consuming especially because it was our first time using after effects and we didn’t know what could be possible and what couldn’t be possible with the program by itself. We shot the barbie and made fashion collages which we photographed and cut out on photoshop. We didn’t end up using most of these collages however and had to cut several scenes that we had originally planned out in our storyboard because we had such limited time.

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Final

Shopsessed from ALEXIA KYRIAKOPOULOU on Vimeo.

Boo!

Our idea for our stop-motion project was a story about an ant exploring a busy city. The ant is small and lonely and is being almost stepped on by people crossing the street until it comes across a ghost costume made by a white sheet. The ant carries the ghost costume using a stick to stabilize it and wanders the streets scaring people passing by. The ant feels empowered until his costume is blown off by a gust of wind…The ant feels small and lonely again.

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Shooting the film occurred over two days. We initially had issues lighting the scenes and getting good focused shots because of how small our drawings were. Eventually we found a good compromise with lighting between actual lights and light balancing through DragonFrame. For focusing the shots we had to get creative as often the clearest shots encompassed more than the cards on which the scenes were drawn.

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