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.

Posts in category tagging4

Tagging 4 – The Movie

After the spectacular exhibition day, of checking out everybody’s awesome prototypes, we finished our movie. It includes explanation of our concept, a small time lapse of our process and some footage of the exhibition. It’s kind of strange to see a half year of work stuffed into these few short minutes.
Hope you enjoy it!

YouTube Preview Image

Tagging 4 is Getting Ready!

We started building up our studio today, testing out beamers, setting up tables, printing posters etc.

Hopefully it will look better tomorrow! 





YES maybe it’s a bit late… but we FINALLY CRACKED OUR BIGGEST NUT!!!!

our heart beat sensor works! Our vibration motor and a led pulsate according to your real-live heart beat. this may seem cool, but just wait until you actually feel your own heart beat, or a friends! We made a short movie demonstrating it. First you see a calm heart beat, and after running up and down the stairs, you can see it rapidly changing.

YouTube Preview Image

Now we can finnaly start finalizing our prototype. A nice day of soldering an squizing everything into our physical prototype. 

Prototype in progress

This week we went to PMB to make the shell for the prototype.
We tested different combination of oil and light with the quick prototyping.
In one prototype, the small shell containing the light submerges in the oil; in the other one, the light is several centimeters above the oil.
At the end we decided the light(with a small shell) should be inside the oil to achieve the best visual effect.
On the other hand, we also started working with the movie and setup of the final presentation.   
We’ll move forward next week when the arduino schizo and other material arrives.
Have a nice weekend!   

Tagging 4 – Playing with Ingredients

The short e-mail feedback we got on our prototype plan was enough to realise we needed to rethink the shape of our prototype. You see the problem is we want a small cute necklace, but we need a bunch of components. In other words, it is not going to fit the way we planed it. Today we cut out a piece a foam the we estameted would be the size of the arduino and all its components. We started building our basic idea around that and found that if we keep the ‘snowball’ part compact, we can make a product that is small enought to be worn around the neck. 

We also played around with baby oil and glitters to get the perfect solution for our home made snowball, this was our best result:
We also started thinking about the final presentation and we are moving forward on the programming. We obtained a heart beat measurer and plan to order the receiver for the arduino so we can work with this next week.

Tagging 4 – Prototype Plan

On this nice sunny holiday, we decided there is no better way to spend it than with our favorite ITD project group!

Oh yeah, we also sort of needed to do some catching up 😉 

Anyway we have (finally) made our FINAL decision on what the prototype will look like:


It is a necklace with a small snowglobe on it. When your heart beat goes up, it will start to pulsate. You can tag either a positive or a negative emotion by shaking fast or slow, the snowglobe invites the shaking. On the other end, some one else’s snowglobe will vibrate and light up either red or green (depending on your emotion). This person can then respond by shaking as well, which will make his personal color light up on the first persons device (the light stripes on the base). This way he/she can see who responded to his/her tag.
We are now finishing up our prototype plan. We have a clear plastic sphere, with (baby) oil and plastic balls inside for the snowglobe. The base we will probably rapid prototype, since it is not very big this should not be too expensive. We are looking into neon wire/fiber optic cable, for the light cables. We will also need to look more in depth into heart beat sensors. Of course we will need an accelerometer and a little vibration motor.



Tagging 4 – Another Small User Study

After talking to Natalia we realized that it might be a bit strange to shake a heart? So we did a brainstorm to see what kind of shapes and object would be logical to shake:


Our favorite idea was to use the idea of a snowglobe! We decided we needed to test how people express their feelings using different objects. These are the three objects we used:
We asked them to express a happy feeling and an angry feeling using these objects.
People had no problem with shaking when happy, especially with the snow globe this was a very logical interaction. For an angry expression, people wanted to squeeze or brake the object. Especially the heart was good for squeezing. The ball and the snowglobe they would want to throw away or smash.


 We will keep these findings in mind when designing further.



Tagging 4 – Incorporating Feedback

We have received a whole lot of feedback the last few weeks and tried to incorporate all of this today. We realized we are a bit behind on schedule and really need to step it up a bit to catch up, we plan to do this next week. We looked at products that are already available in the same field as our concept, communication/tagging/emotions. The one that stood out the most is called Vibe from Philips.

This is still a concept, so it is not functional yet. The idea is that the necklace can sense what kind of emotion you are having, and share this with whoever else has a necklace. At a first glance this seems very, very similar to our product. The big difference, and plus point, for out concept, is that you tag your own emotion AND you can give/receive feedback.

We´ve learned from this that even though something seems very simple, it can still give a very interesting object. We talked with our tutor and we were finally able to make some definite decisions:

– We are going to use ONE interactions, shaking, and use this in several ways. So different types of shaking modes. (i.e. slow is a negative emotion and fast is positive, we will starts with these two and possibly expand)
– We will use light (diffuse light) and light patterns as feedback.
– We will limit the group of friends to 5 people, each having their own color
– The shape should invite shaking (i.e. does it make sense to want to shake a heart?)For now we are working on getting the shaking range working. We hope to test this next week. We are also exploring different shapes and different ways of playing with lights.

Tagging 4 – A Small User Study

Last friday we performed our first user test. It was mostly an interview to get some insights on what people thought of the interactions used and the context they would want to use our product. These are the two points we’ve been struggling with the last few weeks, so it was very useful to get some more information about this. By using our prototype the users could get a good feel of the interactions, and therefore give is good feedback.



  The main conclusions from our research are:


-The basic concept is acceptable. People regard it as physical twitter and willing to play it with close friends. 
-As the relationship between heartbeat and emotion is tricky, context should be explained smartly.  



– Bubbles and spinning flower are loved by the participants. Bold outputs are preferred, compared to the common ones e.g. lights.
-The actions, outputs and conveyed meanings should be redesigned to fit intuitive behavior under different emotions.
– No usecue to inform users how to operate the device under different emotions, which can be achieved by formgiving design with metaphor.     
-Participants expect vivid output for themselves while triggering vivid output on other people’s devices. For example, the feedback light could be fancier. 



-There should be coherence among action, reaction and their outputs combined in certain form.
-Need a compact and portable form.
-The form should be cool /fun /attractive. 


We plan to build a new prototype with simpler interactions, but a more finished product soon so that we can test again. 


Tagging 4 – The Nutcracking Presentation

It’s been a while since we’ve updated you, so time for a big one!After many discussions and brainstorms we were finally able to decide on the prototype we wanted to built. We spent lots of time discussing interactions and decided we really wanted to explore this part of the concept in this cycle. The interactions are now the following:

The next thing we did is make a flowchart of how we were going to build this, using arduino:

The programming was much more complex than we initially thought, it took many hours of work (and not so many hours of sleep :o) ). Several problems arrived during building the prototype which had impact on the rest of our design. For instance, we started making a nice case for all the sensors to go in, but because the bubbles needed much more power than the little fans could give them, we needed to use bigger fans that would never fit in the prototype.

Because there were so many wires involved we figured the best way to present this would be to cover this up, and only make the key elements visible.

While working on all of the above, we were simultaneously working on a short animation to explain our concept. This can be seen in our final movie for the presentation:

YouTube Preview Image


After this long week, we made two postcards to explain the concept one more time:



We got some feedback from our presentation and the postcards and have decided to take a few steps back. During the last phase we went a bit out the box and now we have to tone it down a bit to get to a feasible prototype. We have gone back to the basics in order to build a prototype that we can test better. We are using our ‘old’ prototype this afternoon to get a feel of what the target group thinks of our concept and the different interactions. We plan on using all this information to maybe expand on our simple prototype so that we eventually have a rich and wonderful concept!  


© 2011 TU Delft