Month: October 2017

Week 7 – Empathetic Heart

Progress so far:


Lights will be inserted in “pipes” (veins).

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var sentiment = require(‘sentiment’);

Downloaded a sentiment library for node.js and connected it to TwilioSo now, if you text what you are feeling to 8454586928, then it will give you a sentiment value from -5 to 5 when running on terminal. This will then be connected to Arduino Serial Port.

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Week 6/7: Concept Finalization

The guest speaker after Week 6, Simon Doonan, really lit a fire under our group (and the other groups as well, we suspect.) His years of experience made him question whether we knew various public figures, and made us question whether our pop-up window concepts were overwrought. How would the public receive windows that were so complicated, sensitive in subject matter, and not even well-liked by the group that created them? We decided to think of a new concept from scratch that we could be happier with.

CLASS THEME: Reality, Augmented
GROUP THEME: Manhattan, Augmented (with Water)

I still wanted to tackle a serious theme with our windows, so we came up with a concept: what will the world look like in a future with unabated climate change? There are a number of projections that exist that show the coastline of Manhattan in the startlingly-near future of rising sea levels:


From here we quickly produced two window concepts: one, a fishing/crane game as a future MTA worker, and the other, a tableau set in a future Manhattan apartment that doubles as a hidden object game.



In this window, the user is placed in the role of a future MTA worker, fishing people from the depths of the water in lower Manhattan to their offices and other destinations in dry land.


The user will either use capacitive sensors or an app on their phone to control a mechanism that moves a lure left to right to position the lure over a person in the ‘water’ (whether this is literal water or just decorative has yet to be determined.) Then, another sensor or button in the app will let them drop the lure and try to capture a person. They can then move the lure up, and then drop them into one of various buildings that have been attached to “dry land” and have screens attached to the front of them. When an object lands in one of these buildings, a video plays on the screen wherein the person “enters” the building and interacts with the space.


Simultaneously, the object will pass through the “building” to a chute in the back that will land the person back into the “water.”




This window will be a tableau set in an apartment in lower Manhattan, which suffers flooding and may be partially submerged “underwater”. What would a luxury apartment look like in such circumstances?

To compensate for the amount of work the first window requires, this window is largely static. Any electronics or mechanisms required will be strictly limited: a lamp may be lit with actual LEDs, or a TV may have commercials that rotate.

This is not to say engagement will be limited, however: this tableau will double as a “seek and find” hidden object game, familiar to anybody who’s played Where’s Waldo as a kid. A list will be provided of various objects embedded into the scene, and the more tenacious observer can take the time to find them all.

Elements of this scene may include:
– a window displaying the outside scene, with submarines and whales passing by
– ‎a man in a diving costume, complete with diving bell helmet
– ‎a pet penguin with a diamond collar
– ‎a polar bear rug
– ‎genetically engineered meat substitute snacks
– ‎pamphlets to design your baby

Week 4/5: Final Theme Ideations and Prototyping

From our previous post, we decided to ideate further on the second set of windows, as it had the best balance of a good response from the class as well as interest from the group. Each group member (Melissa, Rita, Chester, and Lindsey) created a mockup or sketch of a version of these windows.



(She suggested keeping the theme in one window, and exploring other ideas in the other)






User Test

There was a divide in the group on how the border crossing interaction should work: should the player be an applicant, trying to get into our country, or a guard, judging the applicants? After some mixed feedback from the class, we decided to create a prototype and test these situations.


In this scenario, you play as an applicant trying to become a citizen of New Cork City. You can change your appearance and profession, and then submit your application. Based on your choices, you are either denied or accepted into the city.

Border Guard

In this scenario, you play a border guard trying to determine who should be allowed into your city. You are forced to make seemingly arbitrary decisions on who is a ‘better’ resident or applicant.


We adjusted the wording throughout the test based on our feedback, and  we got mixed results on our questions: which experience was more fun? Which experience was more satisfying? Overall, the applications were more fun, but the borders more satisfying. Most people understood the theme for both pretty quickly. Ultimately, what determined our final choice was a point from Matt Romein: both experiences felt pretty weightless… why was the user playing these? what are the stakes and motivations for the user?

It was easier to come up with stakes/motivations for the border guard game than the avatar creation.For the border guard, you may be motivated to see how your choices affect the city. With most avatar creation situations, your motivation is because it’s you get to play with it after or otherwise use it, which is difficult for us in a window.