Digital Media Projects: Interactions Tom Parsons 15559572

Projection Mapping

Using projection software, animations and images can be displayed on top of structures in the real world.

The software given to us in the first workshop, allows the user to use simple shapes and colours, and we could animate them and project them onto the wall, our group recreated a "Tron" typeface with a similar colour scheme.

I thought the software was fun to play around with for a bit and explore, but I think it's recreational uses are limited beyond that, additionally I don't see it as helpful for teaching purposes, other than in specific fields of teaching or preparation for specific tasks that require the use of projection mapping. It strikes me as a more professional technology as far as the user/machine interaction is concerned, but certainly someone with the adequate knowledge for it could produce something entertaining using the software, you can see this in theme park attractions, talent contests, or even advertising. It is a very visually engaging technology, so I think that its use best belongs in entertainment or advertising, with the helping hand of an experienced user.

Playing around with HeavyM

Virtual and Augmented Reality

In the second workshop for this assignment, I had the opportunity to try out different virtual reality hardware and software such as the Vive and the Oculus Rift. In addition, I also had the opportunity to use augmented reality software like Aurasma and Augment.

Virtual Reality or VR is a new technology that allows its users to look around and interact with virtual space around them.

Using the Vive was a really interesting and new experience for me, the particular programme it was running was Tilt Brush, a creative and recreational software that allows users to paint within a 3D virtual blank canvas. While there are certainly so very creative possibilities you could approach with a programme like this, I just painted using as many different techniques and colours as possible without caring what it would look like and it was a really great time. I think It's amazing being able to create art in a 3D virtual space like this, it means that you can interact with your art in ways that you normally couldn't, for example you can walk through it and view it from any angle and it could look totally different, when I was using it, it really felt like I was creating a living environment.

As I said, along with the recreational enjoyment, I think there is a real potential in this particular software as an artistic medium, it could also be used to design models in architecture, or even video game modelling perhaps? As for the overall hardware, at the moment I mostly see it as a recreational technology outside of software like the aforementioned Tilt Brush programme. Having said that, I am aware that other creative uses for the hardware are continuously being made, such as in theme parks in motion simulator attractions, so perhaps in the not-too-distant future we could see its potential realised elsewhere too? It could be for online shopping, so that you could see the product in virtual space for a better knowledge of what you're buying, or I certainly see potential in education purposes, I think virtual reality would be a fun and engaging way to teach.

Augmented Reality can simulate CG 3D models, animated or still, in real space.

Using the augmented reality software that was set up, I was able to pick any surface within the room and add a still or animated model to it. I have seen and used this kind of technology before, but what was different about this programme is how much more flexible it was, while I just picked a preset, you could potentially create your own assets to use, and this opens much more possibilities within the programme. I thought it was fun, and it was fairly intuitive and self explanatory for the kind of advanced technology that it is.

For a 3D modeller, I think the technology has a great amount of use, it's an easy way to allow users to import their own work assets into, and to therefore get a more detailed look at how they work in 3D space. Otherwise, augmented reality has already shown it's potential to entertain in mediums such as games, you only need to look at the popularity of an app like Pokemon GO just earlier this year, so there is certainly potential to create more apps and games that work on augmented reality, as it is an interesting concept.

Arduino and Little Bits

In the third workshop of this assignment, I was given the opportunity to play around and experiment with two other pieces of technology relating to the topic of "connecting two worlds" - interactivity via microcontrollers, those being Arduino kits, and Little Bits.

Using the Arduino I was able to create a simple circuit that lights up a bulb.

With the Arduino kit, following guides I was able to create more complex circuits, what you see above is a circuit that I made to light up the bulb. I also tried to make circuits with resistors and switches, but I had a lot of difficulty getting them to function properly. The biggest take away from my experience using this kit is how complex it is, an inexperienced user like me would have no way of being able to create anything without using the guidebook, and even then I was limited to quite simple circuitry because the knowledge that I lacked led to problems realising other possibilities.

An expert no doubt would be able to create something much more interesting using a piece of tech like this, though i'm not sure specifically what, just by looking at the kit, and how little of it I personally used, I believe that it offers a great amount of varied functionality. Based on the very limited experience that I have with the tech, I can only guess that applications in the real world using it could be things like practical electronic resistors, or electrical switches, otherwise teaching could prove useful in the right field.

Using Little Bits I was able to match power inputs to switches to functions in many different ways.

Little Bits was a neat little piece of tech, with it I could create circuits with interesting functions and switches with ease, and really quickly. It was fun to experiment and push the limits of what this seemingly modest piece of tech could achieve, and while it is true that Little Bits doesn't offer a whole lot of functionality really, I would argue that expansive functionality is not the focus of this kind of tech.

It's clear to me that the purpose of this tech is for teaching, and I do think it is a successful way to teach simple circuitry, because it is so easy to use, but with enough different possibilities that it stays fun for long enough. I don't think there would be any way to use the technology offered by Little Bits for any professional purpose, or to create something of much value, instead, Little Bits is a piece of tech where the focus is on the fun and educational side of human/system interactivity.

Created By
Thomas Parsons


Created with images by Samuel Mann - "Te Papa interactive" • bib.louisemichel - "oculus" • Moisturizing Tranquilizers - "Home Made Augmented Reality"

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