Workshop Day 2: Circuit Playground and Greetings

We started the day with a Circuit Playground workshop by Paul Mirel. It was really interesting. I have always wanted to learn how to use basic circuits but I have never had the chance. We learned how to use basic python coding to create lights on the circuit. Then we took that a step further and made the lights blink at a certain time/speed. Then we took that a step further and made the lights turn on when you touch the device. After that we were given some extra code to create sound or color variations using the device. We learned that you can use light, sound, temperature, motion and several other things with this device. Tomorrow we will learn how to program it so that when we touch the device our peers in the Netherlands and Belgium will be able to see the reactions of our touch on the device and we will be able to see theirs. I am really excited about this technology. I want to find other ways to incorporate it into my work.

I had been thinking of creating something for thesis that reacted to humans in some way. My thesis is about Learning Disabilities and I had a vague idea of using motion to activate lights or sounds to represent ADHD. Before today I ha no idea it was so simple, I actually wasn’t really sure where to start looking. I think with this I might be able to do something like that.

Here are a few images and videos of how we used the device. Celi and I played around with some of the extra code he sent so some of these videos are from that.

Drum on the circuit playground
touch activated lights on the circuit playground

After the technical part of the workshop we met up with our peers in the Netherlands and Belgium to discuss greetings. We are team two the Spice girls because on the first day we sang karaoke to the spice girls together.

We talked about the different gradations of a greeting. You have a different greeting for a boss, a teacher, an acquaintance, a friend, a loved one and there are even smaller variations customized to specific people. We talked about varying ways to show this through a screen or in person during the pandemic. We talked about respect and how different gestures indicate respect like cheers to show a drink isn’t poisoned and a handshake to show you don’t have a weapon. We applied these things to both zoom and our current situation with the coronavirus. In zoom you might bow your laptop screen to show respect and to show that you respect someone else enough that you are wearing real pants and not pajama pants. We talked about the wave and how that might translate. It could translate as wiping the camera to show you want the other person you respect them enough to be able to see you. In this gesture you could customize it for people you are closer to. The number of times you wipe or whether you wipe with a cloth or your finger could indicate the amount of familiarity, respect, or how close you are to someone.

Then we talked about in person greetings. You can’t touch people now and you cant see peoples mouths so we thought about using the eyes and eyebrows as a form of communication. Perhaps raising your eyebrows once is a casual hello or a simile, he more your raise it the more respect or closeness you are showing. If you raise your eyebrows and close your eyes it is the ultimate form of respect, you might use this gesture or a grandparent. 

If we translate this to the sensor we might use the wave motion along the lights and the speed of the light wave. There would be different gradations in he number of lights that light up or the pattern. We also might do this with the color of the lights, red for a lover, warm colors for family and friends, blues and greens for more formal interactions. Maybe one pattern is hi, one is how are you, one is whats up, or something like that. Perhaps the temperature indicates something along those lines as well. We could also use sounds to prototype what it would be like with vibrations. Softer sounds are more intimate greetings and larger or more aggressive sounds are more formal greetings. Basically we are thinking of using a spectrum of color, patterns, and sounds to indicate the range of greetings from intimate to formal. We also may use processing if we have time to have some sort of visual on the screen that happens as you touch the device, maybe a drawing on your face like a slap or an intimate cares, or maybe something simpler like a shape or color change.      

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