Find Your Flow – Final Project

‘Find Your Flow’ is a touch sensitive interactive installation that asks you to feel every pixel of its sequin surface and follow its vibration patterns until you ‘Find Your Flow’.
Our physical movement and sense of touch are a large part of our everyday perception, yet we only passively pay attention to them. By tuning into our senses, we become more perceptive of ourselves and our surroundings, and are more able to enjoy the nuances around us.

This project has come a very long way! I started off experimenting with various interactions to ‘slow people down’. From breathing, movement, touching/feeling, human connection. Below is the documentation of the journey!

Phase I – link to ideation https://hellonun.blog/2018/11/08/final-project-week-1-2/

Phase II – link to playtest https://hellonun.blog/2018/11/20/pcomp-playtest-and-development-find-your-flow/

Phase III – link to winter show (concept) https://hellonun.blog/2018/12/05/find-your-flow/

Find Your Flow live on Coding Train – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7zU-yyLAk&t=7340s

Screen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.45.25  Screen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.45.20


 

Find Your Flow Project Image

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181202203256817_COVER.jpg

Elaboration on last stage:

Once I decided on the design for find your flow, I started experimenting with the physical computing aspect of it.

Summary of process

  • design interaction and fabrication
    • touch to activate?
    • how much time to delay so that people would know to slow down?
    • how sensitive does the touch have to be?
    • does it only vibrate when they touch?
    • how will they know when to stop?
  • determine parts
  • what sensor to use
    • in order to create a touch sensitive surface, I experimented with the following sensors
      • Piezo (vibration sensor) – I was recommended by a few people to use this as it was very sensitive. However, because the actuator was a vibration motor, this did not work out no matter how I placed it.
        https://itp.nyu.edu/classes/tangible-interaction/2017/02/25/piezo-sensor/
      • Capacitive (valostat and coppertape) – Although this provided some feedback, it was not sensitive enough. It required me to apply a lot of pressure which did not suit the interaction I was after.

        MVIMG_20181127_122702.jpg

      • FSR circular – This worked very well on its own. However, the surface was very small. Also, when covered with sequin, this was not sensitive enough.

        MVIMG_20181127_122602.jpg

      • FSR squares – THE PERFECT SENSORS! the square FSR’s were perfect! Size: perfect size to make a grid / Touch: perfect under the sequin + motors.
  • how to layer the various components – I ended up putting the vibration motors on top of the fsr sensors as it was giving the most accurate values as well as most effective sense of vibration

    IMG_20181206_031143.jpg

    MVIMG_20181208_144954.jpg

    MVIMG_20181212_042916.jpg
     

     

  • Solder all sensors and motors! The vibration motors came with very thin wires. Not only these were difficult to strip, they broke very easily. After soldering them (use flux!) I used heat shrink and electric tape to make them more firm.
    NOTE: if working with soft fabric, we should use flexible thin wires! I made a mistake in using hard wires thinking they’re more firm but they end up being troublesome because they’re very difficult to bend – also, they create a rough surface.
  • Board layoutScreen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.05.14.png
  • Code
    • be careful of which pin is which
    • serial print to test but delete the serial for responsiveness for the real code
    • here is the code (repeat for other pins)
      Screen Shot 2561-12-18 at 23.12.17.png

In-class presentation: this did not work! This was sad! My project failed to come to life during the class’s final presentation. However, this forced me to come up with a plan, if all things fail (if the sensors don’t work), which is to create random vibrations.

Key learning

  • ALWAYS SODER AND USE PC BOARDS!!! This became a huge problem as my wires got extremely complicated. I believe there were some signal errors due to the amount of wires in such a condensed space. Sensors would randomly turn on and off even though everything was plugged in the same way – I would have to restart the system by plugging and unplugging the arduino. Due to the limited time, I couldn’t rewire and solder everything. However, I tried to be as neat as possible and taped all the jumper cables together to create a firm grip.
  • Takeout from Winter Show:
    • about 70% of people understand and had the designed interaction with the piece (touch and run their hands through it very slowly). others try to listen to it, draw on it or squeeze it.
       

       

    • I find that kids are a lot more sensitive to touch than adults. they would very slowly touch and be amazed by the vibrations and sequins.
      MVIMG_20181216_141658.jpg

      MVIMG_20181216_150459.jpg

    • some comments
      • pregnant whale
      • qr code generator
      • purring cat
  • I am very pleased with how the project turned out. It was surprisingly effective in terms of getting people to slow down and pay more attention to their sense of touch, feel very sequin on the fabric and stay tuned to its vibration.
    • why does it work? I believe it is because it is on that thin line of having enough feedback to keep you engaged but not too much to determine your reaction
      • the tactile feel / vibration
        • this gives a a feeling that you are reacting to something in a very physical way. much like dipping your hand in a sack of rice, running your hand through grass or feeling a pattern on a surface.
      • the vibration
        • this gives a feeling that something is reacting to you through touch which is different from most technology. according to the users, this feels more ‘real’ and more ‘alive’ in relatively other technologies.
      • the visual feedback
        • because people are often distracted by visuals, this keeps them engaged with the piece. having something for the eyes to focus on.

To be added: video from winter show.


Others:

MVIMG_20181208_000047.jpg

(testing the multiplexers)

MVIMG_20181208_014320.jpg

(sensor fibonacci)

Screen Shot 2561-12-08 at 02.06.58.png

(experimenting with additional output – sounds from sonic pi)

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