Posts tagged 'Motion'

Code-free iPhone interaction prototype

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

TouchOSC screenshotHave you ever found yourself wanting to prototype a simple, realtime interaction between an iPhone and another piece of hardware, but don’t have time to learn iPhone programming? TouchOSC provides a simple solution to this challenge. An iPhone app that communicates over wifi using Open Sound Control, TouchOSC allows you to control any kind of application that accepts OSC messages.

TouchOSC also includes a companion layout editor. This free desktop application allows you to define custom screen layouts of UI elements and then upload them to your iPhone. Unfortunately there are only a limited number of UI widgets, and because the software was designed to control realtime sound apps, they naturally tend toward realtime control- knobs, faders and toggles as opposed to forms, dropdowns and checkboxes of more rich interfaces. Still, if all you need is a few buttons and a slider to control an interactive system and you aren’t able to develop a native iPhone app, TouchOSC offers some enticing potential. See below the jump for some examples of unexpected uses.
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Twist your presentation like a Prezi!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Prezi is a Hungarian startup that has developed a tool to empower people to make stunning visual presentations using text and media. Using their intuitive (yet not fully cross-platform) editing tool, creating gorgeous, dynamic motion-based presentations is surprisingly easy.

As an exhibit designer, I personally found Prezi’s strong emphasis on scaling inspiring. Since exhibition designers use scale as one of their primary mechanisms of information organization, I can even see Prezi as a potential tool for prototyping exhibit content, where the ratio in size between header graphics, sub-headers, body text and captions can be as high as 100:1.

Like most sketching tools written about on this site, Prezi’s success relies as much on its limitations as it does in its features. While the possibilities for creating zooming presentations seems endless, Prezi keeps its users on track by providing only a few design templates, not allowing users to edit transition times between ’slides’ and otherwise keeping the system as simple as possible. A professional motion graphics designer might find this constraining, but a casual user (like me) can create very professional looking results in less than a half hour. See below for an example I created (oh yeah, the final product is easy to share, download and embed in a website.)

Click Read More for more analysis.

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Scratch InstructionsThe Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab has released Scratch, a new graphical programming environment designed to teach fundamental aspects of computer programming in a fun and easy-to-understand way. Kids can create games or stories while learning basic concepts of logic and programming.

The community aspect of Scratch is cool as well – because the environment is java-based, kids can upload their creations to the scratch website and comment on each other’s creations. I’m interested in seeing if the sharing aspect of scratch can elevate to the next level, where kids can complete a series of tutorials in order to learn more advanced capabilities of the system. If the satisfaction of completing a programming challenge was as satisfying as completing a level in a video game, kids’ investment in Scratch might continue beyond the academic user-testing-group and community-outreach testing environment that it no doubt was born in.

Scratch can also be controlled by a custom hardware controller, allowing kids to create projects that are controlled by a slider, button, light sensor or microphone.

Scratch Website
SEE ALSO : Lego Mindstorms NXT

Dynamic Physical Rendering

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Check out this video. It’s a concept video that ETC students produced to demonstrate applications for Dynamic Physical Rendering, an Intel-funded research effort to develop ‘programmable matter’, technology for creating self-constructing 3D objects on the fly.Watching the video, I imagine the car designers offing themselves in their garages after their work is literally squashed and warped at the whim of a CEO. Regardless, assuming that something like this will become viable in the coming decades, I am interested to see the ‘software’ interface that enables you to reshape a 3D model by manipulating a physical object itself. When the corporate flunkie in the video tucks and shapes the car, how are they controlling what points on the model they are manipulating, or what tool they are using? Will a second input device be needed, or can the ‘claytronics’ hardware shape and color itself into a ‘hard’ software UI?

From an Interaction Design angle, this seems like the hardware analogue to Jeff Han’s Multi-Touch Interaction Research at MRL and other research at MIT’s Tangible Media Group and that the marriage of multi-touch and gestural interaction methods with dynamic physical rendering will open up stunning new methods of creating and shaping physical objects with human hands.

In the meantime, I wonder whether we aren’t better off just teaching people how to sculpt rather than creating advanced tools that do essentially the same thing?