About my blog

The aim of the ITD course (ID4220) at the Delft University of Technology is to provide Design For Interaction Master students with in-depth theoretical and practical interaction design knowledge to help develop future products based on user-product social interaction. ITD proceeds through a sequence of iterations focusing on various aspects of the brief and the design, and culminates in an experiential prototype.

This blog is managed by Walter A. Aprile: please write if you have questions.



De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posted in May 2011

Experiments with Dragon Skin




More about magnifying glass

  Hey all,

 We wanted to show how we made the last model of magnifying glass.To be able to test it quickly, we decided to use wizard of oz method and programmed the color changes of led with Arduino.





Now it is ready for a final test.
Next time: Protoype and Fablab
Stay tuned! 😀
toolkit group(only one) 


Prototype day

Today we had the will power, abilities and tools to work hard on our project. We have split up the tasks for an efficient workday. Reflecting on last Friday, we had some time to make up for our missing time. Therefore we have not, and will not, only work on this Friday.

The two programmers divided the tasks such that one is programming the usage of the accelerometer and translating this data to a simple LED feedback. The other programmer is trying to get a wireless connection between the two watches working. The programming of this is rather different from the previous ones; therefore a change in way of thinking is required to make such a system working. Now one is able to turn on and off a LED via typing a ‘1’ in some kind of chat screen. Both programs have to be extended to create one working prototype.


The maker and his ‘help’ were busy with putting the electronic component in produced watches. They have one watch almost completed, containing now the LEDs and buttons in the way it still looks like a ‘normal’ watch. Due to component within the watch several elements got a different position. We figured that for the exhibition we have to make a digital illustration of our watch as well.This way we can show that we gave the interaction with the watch a good thought. The same goes for the rest of the interaction, containing the elements. Today one of the team members put everything on paper like we have mend to make our concept. This way we have a solid basis for the exhibition,paper, and communication within the team.

The fifth and last team member got herself busy by thinking out the scenario of the final video. By beginning early, it will be easier to be critical towards the video and change it in such a way that it fits the idea we want it to be.
All in all, we have still loads of stuff to work on, however we have also quite a lot finished. This gives us energy to complete this project with a good working prototype.

Final tests before prototyping


 Yes, `the e-cooker` evolved to `the e-xplorer`!!
As you remember the main elements of our toolkit are electronic components(blocks),an arduino component,
an RFID scanner and an interface(on laptop). Previously, we used the`bowl` metaphor to integrate the RFID scanner 
and to make components be defined by max5 programme. For the last couple weeks we have been facing with some usability
and technology problems with the bowl idea. According to our discusions after the 1st user study,we decided to turn the bowl scanner into a more interactive hand tool(a magnifier glass),which allows you to `explore` the components, also the level of the Arduino projects.
The process was a little tough until coming up with the magnifying glass idea.We made a lot of sketches and also brainstorming.  

After deciding on the magnifying glass idea, first step was making a mock up model of the tool. As you see in the image below
you can select the difficulty level of the projects manually by turning the dial from `green` to`yellow` or to `red`.You can also first select the difficulty level and then scanthe components. The colored parts are supposed to be made by LEDs in the real one.

Of course we needed to test it to observe its interaction with the user:


 However we decided to test it with the actual interactive features one more time.
This way we will revise all the weak points before starting to prototype:


Now, we want to test the latest version of interface and scanning tool together.
 Next time, you ll find the latest news about the components and Arduino projects,
stay tuned! 😀 
 toolkit group(only one) 

Exercise 2: Manipulating the Speed of Sound

 If you keep drawing out ideas and talking about how things will look like, it is hard to find out how it the product will turn out. By building, you are able to see which parts of your design need to be improved. And this was the case for our team. We found the purchase of last weeks materials such as the weights, did not work as planned. Thus, we had to change the building plan slightly. During the building it was harder than expected to integrate the weights. As we had previously shown, we wanted to attach the weights on the stick through magnets. But since the weights are 1 kilo each, we needed very strong magnets. Therefore we decided not to use the magnets in our prototype, but make use of PVC pieces with weights in it, which can be slide over the main PCV part quite easily. We have yet to determine the final look of the slide on weights. 

We made a trip to GAMMA, an all-purpose store, to find additional equipment we needed for our prototype. 



 New weight and pvc cap

 Meanwhile, we also made changes to the hardware inside. Aside from last week’s discovery of substituting the Phidgets for the Wii-mote to gain wireless capability, we discovered our prototype is now more sensitive to movements and is able to measure more precisely, the patient’s rhythm.  This was a bonus, as it will allow the patient to get proper feedback when performing their exercise at the right or wrong pace. 


Interior of pvc pipe with Wii-mote components
Another plus of using the Wii-remote are the existing buttons and perhaps there is something we can do with light. This is something we will discuss next week. 
Next to the hardware, we also worked on programming our prototype. In order to manipulate the speed of the sound while moving the wrist-rehab-stick, we use Max Msp and send the speed variable to the sfplay object. In our earlier prototypes we used a direct manipulation where movement measurements were directly output in the speed of the song. This resulted in fast changes of audio speed that did not exactly match the users movement. To solve this problem we used the mean and the bucket object in Max Msp to create an average speed sound using the previous speed variables. In our case we are using 5 previous samples. The visualization will illustrate this. The red line is a direct manipulation and the green line is the new averaged out way using the mean object to process the speed of the song.
Illustration of the average speed manipulation using the mean object in max msp
We also implemented new feedback in the form of spoken sentences. Until last week the patient experienced vibration and fast or slow music when he/she did the movement too fast or too slow. Now the patient will hear the voice of a therapist telling him/her if the movement was too fast or too slow, when he/she finishes a song correctly they may go to the next song and attach another weight if the patient finishes the song with too many mistakes they have to start over again. Below you will find the feedback for the various movements during the use of the prototype. The below movie also illustrates some of the audio feedback.   
Interactions and associated feedback
YouTube Preview Image 
Video illustrating the movement and sound interaction  

Connecting the wires

Hello there,

The ITD project is nearing its end and so we are entering the final stage of building our final prototype. The materials have been delivered, the functions are clear, the programming has been done and the building has been started. 

But, as we have learned during the previous ITD iterations, never cheer too soon!

The program has become quite a bit of code. This image shows all the patches we’ve made and designed for the Hermes to function the way we want it to. 

The Max5 program

But, for the code, most individual parts have been tested, but the question is, will it work when it all comes together? In order to test so, we will need the two functioning prototypes, because only then we will be able to test the sending and receiving sequence of the hermes.


We are still building our final prototype. We have decided to put a ring on the bottom of the Hermes, to select the receiver of the message. The original plan was to 3d print this ring, but that proved to be rather difficult and expensive. The new plan is to fabricate this ring in the PMB work hall in the IDE faculty. Using milling and turning techniques, we will produce a ring. The ring has to fit exactly over the outer shape of the Hermes and needs to be a tight fit!

The material has been delivered and we have in our possession a translucent tube! But when you look through the tube, you shouldn’t have to see all the stuff inside. That’s why we’ve chosen to adapt the finishing of the surface of the translucent material. We will scrub the inside of the material, so that it becomes blurry. 

Surface finishing

The surface of the tube will look something like this.


Fitting the Arduino inside the tube proved to be quite a challenge. We no longer have the space to try out all the different components, but we will have to fit it tightly together. We’ve built a base plate where we put our Arduino together with the rotation sensor.

Thight fit

Even once the Arduino will be fitted inside, all the wires will need to be connected. The wires will need to have the right length and have to be put away nicely, while still sending through the signals. Building in all the parts at once in a tight space proves to be quite a challenge. 

Connecting the wires

One of those problems is the air suction. With the base plate, the fan doesn’t get enough air through. We are making some special holes so that there is enough air to get through. 


As you can see, all the individual parts are more or less finished. The biggest challenge now is connecting all the wires and getting the whole to work as one!


That’s it for this week. Next week hopefully we’ll be finishing our prototypes


Kind regards,

Team generationY1



Finetuning the Tag-a-Track

After a succesful usertest last week, your favorite group came together this morning and disucssed the results. Some possible improvement areas were pointed out by our participant. A couple of things we have to change:

Tagging the just played piece of music proved to be too hard and too slow: too intervening with the playing itself. In the tested setup the user was able to grade the music by holding the guitar in the upright position longer to ‘increase goodness’ or keeping the neck pointed downwards to ‘increase badness’. So we decided, after a short meeting with Natalia Romero and Walter Aprile, to skip the grading and keep it simple: good or bad.
Holding the neck up or down also is not a easy movement, we expected it to be a cool and easy. The participant suggested small turning movements in the horizontal plane. We will incorporate these new movements.

The participant liked that the balls really reacted to the music he played. The key he was playing in was reflected in the positions and movement of the balls. This was interesting and fascinating to see, the participant liked this interaction. Also the people gathered around the test setup were intrigued by the display. The proposed system and display worked and the desired effect was created. On beforehand we were afraid the display would be boring, repetitive, but even when you were not playing it was fun to watch the tubes. 


Finetuning technical aspects 

Today we also finished some details of the technical aspects of the Tag-a-Track system:

– Finishing the casing. We were inspired by a piece of aluminium mesh lying around in Studio Do. We decided to use this material to cover parts of the electronics and create space underneath the fans for the air intake. We acquired a piece of aluminium plate with square holes and bent it in a trapezoid-rectangular shape. The holes in the material everywhere create the opportunity for the fans to work properly and cover them up partially.
 – Finetuning the tubes. Because all tubes are slightly different
in upper and lower diameter (they are conical; this way the ball can be
positioned better in the tube), the starting voltage (when the ball only
just doesn’t lift off) and the maximum voltage (when the ball hits the
top of the tube) have to be determined for all tubes.  This will result
in shorter reaction time and therefore better display. This is a quite boring and very time consuming task. Although a lot of work has been done, we are not yet finished. And as you know: God is in the details. This will boost the quality of our concept definitely.

We have to test our concept again soon, to verify the made changes and tweaks. Don’t worry, we promise to keep you up to date with nice pics and words. You also can stop by in Studio Do (Fac. of IDE, 2nd floor). Especially when you want to try the Tag-a-Track yourself. We have a guitar here, so that isn’t a problem. See ya!

Hugs & Kisses,

Tagging 1


On the road again!

The building phase started again!


Now we defined our new concept, big steps in progress have to be made to catch up with the ITD planning. 

The tree is shaped, so we can now try out things with a tangible tree.  


Today we discussed about the color the tree should have (relaxing or energizing? Or a combination?), the type of flowers and leaves, the amount, the size etc.
Also we experimented with the lights, to see the different effects.  



In the afternoon we build the slider, worked on the programming and had a meeting with Walter D’aprile. 

We divided some task to do over the week and planned a pizza/ working night.

We are still a little bit behind on schedule, but we are facing the coming weeks enthusiastic, to create a smashing happy tree. 



 Very happy regards, Team Happy 3! 

Energizing – the new concept

Friday 20th of May: Defining the new concept 




 Wizzard of Ozz prototyping and testing 🙂


Happy Regards, Team Happy 3 




Act 1 – Twilight

  1. The staff of the IDE faculty in Delft is in a tense discussion (think Hollywood disaster movie presidential meeting): CO2 problems, mad scientists, alien invasions… Something needs to happen about people’s awareness of high levels of CO2 in the air around them and the problems it causes, not only regarding climate change, but also their personal health. Eventually, a decision is made: the infamous Team Tiger Blood is asked to find a solution.


Act 2 – New Moon

  1. In the mean time… Dzorb is happy with his girlfriend Dzorbina on planet Dzorbius. Their planet has a precarious balance of air quality, and thus all Dzorbs are very sensitive to CO2, and show their agitation with a fast, vibrating heartbeat.
  2. But then, the Mad Bad Scientist has discovered these creatures as a crucial tool for world domination, so he demolishes their planet and sucks Dzorb to his hidden laboratory somewhere on earth.
  3. However, Dzorb is spotted by a mysterious stranger, who gets curious about this little being, and secretly follows him to the lab.


Act 3 – Eclipse

  1. In the lab, the Mad Bad Scientist performs vivisection on Dzorb, discovering all components and technical details (its Arduino brain, its vibrator heart, and of course its CO2 sensitivity) while looking for the clue he needs to fulfill his evil schemes, unaware that the mysterious stranger is watching him.
  2. The mysterious stranger notifies the heroes of Team Tiger Blood of this atrocious act, and Team Tiger Blood realizes that not only can they save an innocent creature, but also solve the IDE faculty’s CO2 awareness issue.
  3. Our favourite heroes come to the rescue, and defeat the Mad Bad Scientist with their magical Dragon Skin® 20.


Act 4 – Breaking Dawn

  1. Dzorb is left in the care of a VIP, who save the world from CO2 unawareness together, by acting out the two different scenarios: high amount of CO2 and low amount of CO2.
  2. Also, they get to know each other, and discover each other’s serendipitous features: a satisfied purring when stroked, and an angry growl when shaken.
  3. They love each other, are aware (and make others aware) of CO2 problems, and live happily ever after. The only question remains: who is the mysterious stranger? Is he one of the good guys? Is he a villain? Is he an alter ego of Team Tiger Blood?
© 2011 TU Delft