Orphe: smart shoes as new expression system

From the official Indiegogo project page: “Orphe is a smart-shoes system designed for performance that functions both as a customizable lighting system and a musical instrument/audio-visual controller. The sole of each shoe contains advanced motion sensors, around 100 full-color, serially-controlled LEDs, and a wireless module. This technology allows users to intuitively express themselves in new and interesting ways by freely mapping interactions between their movements and light and sound (patent pending). We also provide a system that makes it easy for users to share the assets they’ve created online, and we hope to grow a community of artists and performers working in different media and genres who can take inspiration from each other’s use of Orphe hardware and applications”.

[Paper] Evaluation of Smartphone Accessibility Interface Practices for Older Adults

[Paper] Evaluation of Smartphone Accessibility Interface Practices for Older Adults

From the abstract: “Smartphone’s can play a significant role in maintaining decent Quality of Life for elderly people. Key factor to Smartphone’s usage success among elderly people depends on the accessibility of phone interface. Indeed, there is an exponential growth of the elderly population that suffers from age-related disabilities. Accessibility problems should be in mindfor developers. To address these issues in new smart phone devices there is no proper set of guidelines available that focus on this domain. So in this paper the work focuses on: (1) a set of guidelines to keep in mind in order to achieve accessibility in mobileinterfaces for older people. This checklist is the result of a review study of the literature, standards and best practices that are being performed in this area of knowledge, (2) use of this accessibility checklist aimed at elderly people, a survey of three mobile native Apps on android platform has been carried out, these Apps have as aim to modify the default interface for another more accessible one”.

Full paper available for (free) downlaod.


Amira Ahmed, Aleeha Iftikhar, Sarmad Sadik, “Evaluation of Smartphone Accessibility Interface Practices for Older Adults”, in International Journal of Engineering Science Invention, ISSN (Online): 2319 – 6734, ISSN (Print): 2319 – 6726

www.ijesi.org ||Volume 4 Issue 3 || March 2015 || PP.24-30

Light Kinetics: an interactive installation by Espadaysantacruz

From the project page: “Light, as we usually see it, is an element that lacks mass, to treat it under the laws of gravity is somehow magical. The laws that describe the behaviour of light are hardly understandable because it neither behaves as body or as a wave. As Einstein wrote concerning the wave-particle duality: “We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do”. In this project, we have built a computer simulator that reduces this extraordinary phenomenon to the simple classical mechanical laws”.

Installation setup: Arduino (to capture inputs) and Processing as interface between Unity and the dimmers.

Continue reading…

MOTI: a small device to form habits that last

MOTI is a new tech gadget with a challenging goal: to help users form new habits starting from an emotional connection rather than pure data and stats. These are the pillars the project is built upon:

  • Motivation more than numbers
  • Habit loop theory
  • Celebrating and tracking small wins
  • Variable rewards
  • Physical and anthropomorphized entities

You can read more about the science behind the project on the official page.

CityScope Riyadh: a urban redevelopment proposal through interactive technology

As part of their research activities, the Changing Place Group (MIT Media Lab) led a workshop in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) to test a new version of our CityScope platform. According to the article:

The goal was to achieve the highest scores for three variables:  walkability, building energy performance, and access to daylight.  As participants placed optically tagged Lego bricks on our augmented reality table, the design performance was revealed in real-time by changing color-codes projected onto the pieces, and data displayed on the dashboard.  Fundamentally, the challenge was to achieve an optimal density and mix for commercial and residential buildings.

What did we learn from the workshop?

First of all, I was pleased to see the level of engagement, as is revealed in my 30 second video (above). This team was so engrossed in the process that they seemed oblivious to the intrusion of my camera.  Afterwards, the participants reported that the instant feedback, with changing color-codes and data, was extremely valuable.  Each team could immediately understand impact of their decisions on walkability, energy, and daylight as they placed elements on the table.  It encouraged an iterative, collaborative decision-making process. In the discussion that followed, there seemed to be a general frustration with the lack of metrics for evaluating an urban design proposal with traditional media, such as plans and renderings.  There seemed to be an appreciation for the power of such a new tool, even if we just hinted at possibilities.  Not insignificantly, they all appeared to have fun in the process.

Read the full article on the official site.

The how and why of persuasive technologies

The how and why of persuasive technologies

The idea of technologies designed to influence people behaviours is everything but new. According to a recent article published by The MIT Press, today, data analysis and behaviour measurements seem to go beyond that. Technologies now aim at creating new habits.

Video games –  for instance –  monitor your play sessions to study the level of your engagement (i.e. “how frequently, how fervently, and how quickly you press on the screen”). In doing so, they are capable to “predict” the moment your interest will drop so to suggest new games. Just in time to keep you hooked. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Read the full article on MIT Technology Review.

Better video games without characters

Better video games without characters

In a thought-provoking contribution published by The Atlantic,  Ian Bogost discusses the role of characters in video games, our obsession with self-identification and self-representation and why we should start consider a future where systems like video games could work without characters at all renouncing “[…]  our own selfish, individual desires in the interest of participating in systems larger than ourselves”.

Read the full article.

A playable interface designed to teach you how to play

Creative designer  Yowan Langlais (co-founder at juicybeast) presents the work behind  the design of a “teaching” interface for his game Toto Temple Deluxe (Ouya). As reported:

Making a fully playable UI was definitely a good experiment for us. Even if it wasn’t completely necessary, it helped convey the complexity of the controls to new players. We could have relied on traditional, text-based tutorials, but most player would have just ignored them to then have a hard time playing the game like it’s supposed to be played. Making a playable UI system is great if your game needs it, obviously, but it also comes with its share of difficulties […] Games with really simple mechanics or barely no menus may not really benefit from this kind of system. On the other hand, a playable UI could help preserve immersion and overall unity even if you don’t need it as a teaching tool.

Read the full study on GameDev.net.