Author Archives: Sam

Sam & Anna’s Final Project Progress

fsr and bouncing bubbles

I was having serious issues with hooking the fsr up to processing. This was meant to be a “are you ready?!” kind of sensor. So, that the moment the user holds/presses the sensor the game begins (just because physical sensors are more fun than regular keys). But, I sort of failed because the game was just laggy without fsr reading but flowed nicely with fsr reading.

What computing means{does} to Sam~

Since spring semester of 2015, my understanding of computing has drastically changed. Less than a year ago, I’d look at any type of code and think “I have absolutely *no* idea what any of this means”. It’s a strange thing now that I enjoy hacking (or attempting to anyway) my way through Processing and Arduino sketches and C# scripts. And, in a couple of months, I’ll be learning more languages. Studying code is truly eyeopening and I’ve grown a passion for creating games, applications, and experiences. One of the main reasons I’ve become so fond of creative coding is because we, as creators, have the opportunity to influence and impact people’s lives.

I experienced this in particular when I demoed my first VR (virtual reality) game in Shanghai earlier this year in May. For three hours, I stood there (fortunately enough) witnessing people’s first time experiences in VR! (And they were playing something I made *wHat?*). I’ll never forget the expressions on peoples faces, some of the words coming out of their mouths, and the strangely unexpected results from user testing my stuff with several people. That’s where I also noticed the significance of design and functionality and the *importance* of expecting the unexpected (aka the user you’d never be). So, at this point – after I have gained a better understanding of Arduino and its ability to prototype any cool ideas one may have – I am crowded with thoughts of what I’m going to do next. A custom made controller for the virtual world? A 2d human bubble catcher game? An interactive piece of clothing or accessory? An nicely designed but fully functional interactive safety mechanism? New media — ah, the exponential evolution of tech. I don’t see why we shouldn’t immerse ourselves…which reminds me of this comedian I saw the other week. She went on and on about how everyone thinks that robots are going to *take over the world* and adding on to that by saying then *don’t create* them. And, though she was kind of funny, I found myself cringing a little bit because discouraging creativity (and especially within the tech world) is a big *wtf are you saying that?* in my world.

The growing interactivity of things allows us to connect in ways we could’ve never imagined before. And the opportunity we have to evolve the ever-changing softwares…forever. I want to adapt coding as a native language, and I want to create as much as I can in an equal amount of mind-boggling and straight forward real and virtual things.

And, now I’m done~

Sam’s Game

So I had some issues implementing the “changeSpeed” aspect, as it wouldn’t changeSpeed continuously for some reason. Other than that, it was fairly simple to make this game. To make the game more fun, I’d like to add some obstacles that pop up every now and then. But, that’ll take me a bit more time to figure out…


Awesome code & Sam’s trial & error(s)

Hi everyone!

I found some awesome demos while trying to figure out what I could do for my assignment. I miserably tried to manipulate code for hours…thinking I could simply look at a flocking code and other notes and synthesize a predator from which the boids would flee from. But, a challenge it was and a challenge it has remained. View a screen capture of everything here.

Here are some awesome demos:

Particles with Attraction and Repulsion Forces

Flocking with predators

I managed to integrate my ball into the flocking code found on processing (see below), but I couldn’t figure out how to code such that the flock would flee from the ball as well. So, I just pretended that this was a game and the user’s purpose was to avoid the flock with the mouse.

Ideally, one would create another function that tells the flock to avoid the x and y position of the ball (plus its diameter I assume) at any times.

Furthermore, I changed the class’s original multi-ball animation script by adding some color coding (see below). I just wrote another function and incorporated it.

“Distraction” by Sam

For my self-portrait, I decided to go down a slightly different path as shown in the screenshot below. In this strange piece, I reflect upon myself, New York’s finest distractions, and my processing skills.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 22.47.17

I didn’t want to display the various key functions as I wanted a clear canvas to paint on. But, I did want to incorporate a few different options to make the painting more fun.

Bonus! Some various other sketches made with slightly edited code (not included) before I arrived at the final masterpiece, (featuring Phil the tilted).

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 22.40.57 Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 21.17.20

Sam and Anna’s Phone Case Alarm

For our program we wanted to create a portable alarm system that would trigger an alert (output) based on an input from the user. While we currently only have the prototype, the final product would have the touch sensors built into a phone case along with a microcontroller that could communicate to an Arduino or another microcontroller via Bluetooth.

In order to trigger the alarm, the user presses the sensor built into their phone case, and this causes the LED to light up, signaling to an emergency contact (family, significant other, etc.) that the user is in distress. In order to prevent accidental triggering of the alarm, we set multiple pressure thresholds for the pressure sensor so that light/accidental touches wouldn’t trigger the alarm light; only a very firm touch will cause it to go off.  These different pressure thresholds simulate different buttons within the program.

Moving forward, we want to include a feature to leave the alarm light on until the user decides to turn it off again (presumably when he/or she is no longer in danger).  In the current model we simply set a long delay to leave the alarm light on for a prolonged period of time.

Sam & Anna Phone Alarm

The structure of our code was taken from this website. We modified it slightly to fit our circuit.

Sam – Interactivity and things

As I was reading Chapter 1 in Crawford’s text The Art of Interactive Design, I couldn’t help but think about myself and my most recent job. While I was redesigning the UI & UX of an upcoming mobile app, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more efficient the app creation process would be if I could just code along the way.

Nowadays, it seems that mostly everyone is multitalented. Hybrids, whether coder + designer or artist + producer, simply seem to get the job done faster and, in my experience, more successfully. And, I think this is probably because they envision the purpose of their products/creations more precisely. In completing various tasks, one more thoroughly understands how and why something should be done.

As Crawford claims “good in interactivity design integrates form with function” (12). I believe this holds true with any type of designs that are not primarily aesthetically pleasing. The input -> process -> output model is becoming more relevant, as the tech world delves into both augmented and virtual reality. Designers are now required to consider both the interaction and immersion with technology more seriously.

My favorite thing from this chapter: “Interaction is not reaction on a higher plane of existence” (8).

Sam – Week 1: Keeping your flowers hydrated!

Hey everyone,

So, let’s imagine a slightly different situation: the cables are ultimately built into whatever vase and that the flower isn’t half dead…

I thought that a creative “smart home” switch would involve taking something boring (like watering flowers) and making it interactive. So, the idea is that when your flowers are dehydrated, the LED is off. When you water them, the LED switches on.

Here’s a quick video:

Another idea I had in mind involved keeping some sort of device right outside your window and installing cables/sensors that light up an LED or emit a sound inside your room. Whether your curtains are closed or the room doesn’t have windows, you’ll know when it’s raining!