This week, we are continuing to work on our final group project. Following our user research last week, we started talking about some ideas for our design interventions.
First, we took a look at our research results from last week and we found that most people are eager to have more options to socialize, especially in ways that will provide them with meaningful emotional feedback. Based on our survey data, the core of our user group will consist of social media users from age 15 to 35 who love to connect with friends through group activities. We decided to focus on creating a game or an experience that will bring friends together through a collaborative and tangible user interface.
So naturally, our brainstorming is all about how we can create a tangible apparatus for people to connect virtually (which kind of sounds like an oxymoron). We thought the best way to come up with ideas within a group of three is just through conversations, so we all hopped on a call and started talking and writing down ideas that may be interesting to elaborate on.
We narrowed down all of our ideas and picked out 5 concepts to further discuss. Our first idea is to create a group tarot experience through a combination of digital interface and physical controls. A tarot reading prompts dialogues and provides an engaging experience that can be shared within a group of people. We thought this experience can be taken up a notch by implementing a sensor or a switch (via Arduino) that will allow the participants to flip the cards themselves, which adds a physicality to a digital tarot reading.
Following down the line of spirituality, we also came up with another concept that allows the users to ask whatever questions they have to a spirit, who will be presented using holographic projection. This game simulates the experience of playing an Ouija board with friends while tieing in a ‘tangible’ interface.
Our third idea is to design a world-building game where the players get to come together and explore their creative power. We envision a game that will allow the participants to build their own world in a sandbox and explore the world that they have built-in virtual reality. We also want to use a motion sensor, such as Leap Motion, so that players can place, grab, and modify objects using hand gestures.
Continuing with Leap Motion, we came up with another design that will connect users, especially couples, by simulating physical touch. Users will be interacting with an interface controlled with Leap Motion, and whenever a user expresses emotions, their light bulb will be illuminated with a specific color.
We combined some previous ideas and came up with our last concept. We want to create a game where participants will be summoning a ghost with different and unique features and characters depending on the users’ personality and how they are feeling at the time. After the ghost is summoned, users will be able to meet and communicate with them and ask them any questions that the players may have. Will the ghost answer their questions? We will have to see what kind of ghost they are going to summon!
We decided to proceed with our last idea because it combines spirituality, gaming, and collaboration altogether. We think that this concept is appropriately scaled under our current timeline, and it also reflects our findings from our user research. After deciding on this design, we talked about how the device is going to be constructed and created some simple mock-ups.
Each user will have a gaming device, which will be equipped with a temperature sensor and a heart rate sensor inside. The display of the game content will be projected on a cube via a projector.
Participants in different locations use these sensors as scanning devices to co-create their own ghost with unique characters. We plan to have the temperature sensor to affect the color of the character, and the heart rate sensor to change the character’s facial expression/personality.
Finally, after being summoned by users together, the little ghost belonging to users will come out! With holographic projection technology to present the ghost in the center of the cube, the players will be able to interact with the ghost.