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DesignNews

The Design Club, RMIT University Vietnam. 2011


A Note from the Project Manager Hi there, Thank you for looking into DesignNews Volume 2! DesignNews is a digital newsletter initiated by the Design Club under the roof of Multimedia Design Department – RMIT Vietnam. Volume 2 is the result of hard working and enthusiastic group of staffs and students from various fields. I would like to personally say thank you to contributors who had dedicated their time into making this possible. It is indeed not an easy task. It took us 3.2 months to come with volume two but today, we are very proud to bring you news, contents and designs that are original to the core of Saigon. The contents of the newsletter are published in hope of encouraging the design community in Saigon to generate ideas and inspiration. The focus of this volume is on Interactivity. The meaning of interactivity today is comprehended and perceived much more differently compared to the past. It is now decided by the existence of physical or virtual worlds one would be immersed in. The line between the two worlds is extremely thin and it is possible to interact with both worlds at the same time. With the advancement in hardware technology and various methods of communication, especially through the Internet, the experience and content of interactivity has been magnificently transformed. It is now more complicated than ever. By observing daily activities of the current generation of people, we can say people are more dependent on virtual worlds to work, run their chores and communicate. Time spent on the physical world that we live in is lesser compared to a decade ago. We communicate through the Internet at a frequent rate in oppose to making time for face-to-face meeting. An increasing number of people use games consoles as an option to play virtual sports with their friends. Buying plane tickets could be done with a few clicks of the mouse. Announcing your current status and whereabouts can be done through tweets. The idea of a physical location is slowly diminishing. Technology and interactivity is obviously making life easier but the benefits are dependent on individuals. For interface and game designers, the constant advancement is always fun and exciting to adopt but it also poses a challenge and query as to how effective and practical these technologies can be used. I hope you enjoy reading our findings, we are not professionals but we try our best to bring you some local DesignNews! Do My Ngoc Project Leader


Contributors Advisors Ondris Pui Doan Ngoc Duy Project manager Do My Ngoc Editors Do My Ngoc Ondris Pui Writers Do Hong Phuc Doan Ngoc Duy Duong Bao Y Hoang Tran Le Vu Nguyen Hoang Phuc Nguyen Phuong Hong Cam Ondris Pui Tran Thi My Linh Designers Do Hong Phuc Do My Ngoc Doan Ngoc Duy Ha Bich Van Le Huong Lan Le Ngoc Hoang Nguyen Lu Kim Hue Tran Thi My Linh

We Welcome New Contributors! We currently need passionate people who enjoy writing. We welcome any individual who can come up with new ideas and have the urge yo brighten up the content of our newsletter. It does not matter if you do not have professional or editorial writing skills. DesignNews is a chance for all of us to get together, learn, support and not forgetting having fun with each other. We are looking forward to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to drop us a line. Contact Do My Ngoc s3298795@rmit.edu.vn Ondris Pui ondris.pui@rmit.edu.vn


CONTENT 4

Wish Button

8

Personal Interfaces

12

What if motorbikes can monitor traffic with the aid of interactive maps?

16

Local intepretation of interactive technology

20

HTML5 or Flash?

23

Typography for logical interaction in HCMC

27

Functional Paper Folding

24

Interactive Entertainment Saigon Style

26

Interactivity with Physical Computing


By Phuc Do, Nguyen Le & DuongTran Interactivity can come from anywhere in our daily life, even the most unexpected places. It is believed - though not widely - to have the endless ability of breaking out from the common mindset in this digital age. Working with this motto, the Design News team has set up an interview trip around the central districts of Ho Chi Minh City, with the support of a self-built inte ractive device called “Wish Box”. Encountering curious folks from all walks of life along the way, we asked them one simple question: “If you had a wish, what would it be?” These people were then instructed to make a wish while pressing the “Wish Button”, the imaginary Wish Box device would response by slightly vibrating, “processing” and jotting down respective wishes on a piece of paper. The DesignNews team – with a huge credit to our companion Wish Box - has managed to collect several wishes (some of which put us in great awe and surprise), and now they are put down to this magazine page as a creative visual collage.

The Wish Buttton was created as a tool offering to people from all walks of life a chance to voice out their wishes - in form of a spontaneous and refreshing experience which differs from typical buttons that we encounter and use every day (e.g computers and mobile phones). We look forward to expanding this project to a larger scale, from that help aspiring designers to realize the significance of getting to know and understanding the varied demands, needs and mindset of different audiences in our society.


IF YOU

HAD A

WISH

WHAT WOULD

IT BE?

Collage by: Do Hong Phuc


Collage by: Do Hong Phuc and Hsu Kai Sin


Personal Interfaces By Hoang Tran Le Vu

People from different specializations have different tastes in life’s views and manner characteristics. Three people were intentionally interviewed, a business man, a university student and an 11year-old boy on their views about mobile phones. They came up with personal views and different expectations of what they think a good phone or interface should be. Dennis Tuan Phan, a business man in event and branding field, has a clear image about the dream phone if he was a manufacturer. He seemed extremely excited when being asked about this topic. He himself is a fan of high-tech devices. “I am kindly in love with using technology in daily works. Everytime I meet customers with presentations or any showcases, I would like to use devices to get them interested and at the same time make myself as an interesting person. However, I dream of a flexible mobile that can handle multi-tasking purposes.” He said.“A phone with foldable screen is what I want because it is not seen anywhere yet “. As a fan of mobile phones , I also want something that is classical but at the same time modern. A small screen will look just like a traditional one and I fold another screen to have a larger screen for presentation and other displays.”. He explained more about the “fit” in his sentences “A day to me will be really hard to manage because I have to work with a lot of people, some younger than me, some older and even at my age. I need a mobile phone that can impress people in different ages. ” And of course, that phone in his creation is unable to exist in this 21st century but we will hope to own one , a device with a power of many devices in a combined as one.


Mang Quoc Dung, is an RMIT student in Business Marketing. Beside tstudying, he is also a part-time delivery man for a fabric material agency. He normally drives miles from the city for his job so a mobile phone, in his opinion, is a useful device. During our conversation, he had on his left hand an Android HTC phone and an iOS Iphone 3g on the right. The phones never have a light-off screen due to the endless emails and status of friends on online social networks. Interestingly, when asked to brief about the phone he wants, he seems to be pointing out all the disadvantages of his present phones. “I need a phone with a 4-inch screen size so I am comfortable to interact with it. This HTC is larger than what I expected but the OS is outstanding. It is open source compared but compared to the Iphone, Apple’s product and has a user-friendly interface due to the fact that a lot of money has been put into developing it. You basically pay for what you get.� He acted like he was a real phone designer as describing how the buttons, front/back camera, stereo speakers and battery cover would be located on the phone.


Bin, the kid-next-door, is, personally, the most interesting character in my interview series. Although he is only 11 years old, he has a creative image about the phone he “swears” to own when he grows up. It is a combination of a little shape from a PSP, a touchscreen from a Nintendo DS and the color of an Iphone 4. He had no idea about what he would be in the future but in some present's angles, It helps him in entertaining himself. What else could you expect from kids? It’s however interesting to see that youTube is an important aspect of entertainment among children of his age. For a while, when reviewing the sketches from these three people and the “wanted” mobile phone. It can be seen as that people nowadays are into touch-screen and multi-tasking devices. Bin, the 11-year-old boy blew a new air to the generic mobile interface compared to 2 others who opted for larger screens. What he thought of was of gaming devices coupled as a phone. Not the other way round like how boring adults would think of. No one can be sure that if his ideas will end up as a hot mobile phone trend. in teh future. Ideas are ideas. We know for sure that interface and industrial designers can never satisfy demand. They should always listen and comprehend what the users need when designing their products. Listening to kids might help change monotonous trends and add elements of surprises because adults can be too rigid to explore.


WHAT IF MOTORBIKES IN HCMC CAN MONITOR TRAFFIC WITH THE AID OF INTERACTIVE MAPS? Article by Nguyen Hoang Phuc Photograph by Ondris Pui Layout by Lu Kim Hue

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ravelling around on your own vehicles is a daily demand: you have to go to work, to school and go out. At the moment you are confused about navigating, locating your destination, figuring the shortest and safest ways and considering about saving gas, you need a GPS signal receiver.


Inspiration

GPS don’t own a car? have you thought about mounting a pocket GPS receiver on your motorbike??

(Global Positioning System) is a young technology, quite popular around the world and a little common in Vietnam. You see navigators, adventurers and tours relying on this technology to find their way around. It can also be attached on your vehicles and save you from being lost. After nearly 20 years of enhancement and development, GPS receivers are now combined with other useful features for travelling anywhere.

With 27 Earth – orbiting satellites, launched by the U.S, at any spot on the globe your GPS device can receive radio signal from at from up to 6 to 9 satellites at a time. After locking at least 3 , GPS receiver will then simply track the intersected point on their radio waves from satellites; and that point is the GPS device itself. The deviation from actual geographic location around 1 – 7 meters. However, the radio signal from satellite can be blocked by tall buildings, so the GPS receivers need space to “see” the satellites. GPSinstalled within computers can receive additional signal from the Internet. It is then combine with satellite signal to give result. A modern GPS receiver has ability to calculate shortest way to reach from location to another. It downloads traffic information such as one – way streets, restricted roads and public destinations like schools, hospitals, parks, gas stations, and restaurants. If you are driving, you can totally focus on controlling your vehicles without looking at the map by

using voice – command features, the GPS receiver will tell you where you are and where to go. Most GPS receivers now have 4 – 6 GB of memory allowing you to store images, music, video, contact details, and information about your favorite destinations. You can also make a phone call from a GPS receiver with Bluetooth connection right to your phone. And those cool features mentioned above are around 300USD in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the local traffic observer center plans to gives GPS users a charged package for real – time traffic information and cost about 100USD per year. This service package work with radio signal as well. Your GPS receiver will collect information about blocked streets or traffic jam and direct you another way to avoid traffic jams. Unfortunately, this package is not available yet at the time of writing this artcle. For the moment, car drivers can access VOV (Radio Voice of Vietnam) – FM 91MHz or FM 95.6MHz; these radio frequencies will give you real – time traffic condition and weather. The features available within a GPS receiver are quite realistic. It makes your travelling much easier. But you don’t own a car? Have you thought about mounting a pocket GPS receiver on your motorbike?


Inspiration Vietmap Ltd is one of the first companies working with Vietnam maps. They experiment and manufacture devices based on GPS technology: GPS receivers, GPS application for cell phones, iPhones and iPads. Vietnam, actually, for now is not a good market for GPS receivers although the price is affordable, said Nguyen Thu Hien – salesperson, Vietmap Ltd. You can have GPS application installed in your mobile phone for 50SUSD; with 330USD you can own a PAPAGO – H8, a handheld GPS receiver which also can be used for cars. Most customers, however, come to us for business solution – managing groups of vehicles and properties, rather for personal needs. In fact, why should they buy a handheld GPS while they already know the trails and shortcuts? And they rather ask locals for directions instead. That is why we don’t have any products for motorbikes. Overall, GPS is a realistic, effective technology for life. It keeps you on your tracks, avoids traffic jams and spots that are under construction, update traffic informa-

Do It Yourself :

tion and strategy to save gas. And it can save your life: rescuers can tell exactly where you are by tracking your GPS receiver’s signal. For now, Vietmap Ltd offers only GPS receivers for cars, handheld, business solutions and no particular devices able to use for motorbikes. The main reasons probably most motorbikes in Vietnam don’t have suitable handlebar, and users must concern about water proof containers and bad guys. It is not like GPS receiver in a car that is well protected. So, mounting GPS receiver on motorbike at this moment is just an idea, not a solution! Figure it out with your own creativity?

“Yes, mounting GPS on motorbikes is absolutely interesting! But the point is how you mount it on your motorbike. Most Vietnamese motorbikes do not have suitable handlebar for GPS. Sport motorbikes like chopper, cruiser, touring bike and naked bikes are more suitable for this solution. So you must mount it the mirror. Bad guys will attack you because they can see your shiny thing obviously. Furthermore, you cannot leave it with your motorbike in parking lot. How inconvenient.” Nguyen Truong Quoc Huy (RMIT VN student, Diploma of Commerce)

“I did try to mount it on my motorbike 2 years ago. You want to do it? Do it yourself using your creativity, tools and clever hands. Because there was no such thing manufactured as bracket to help you attach the GPS on motorbikes. You can use bracket from car – GPS, but you have to adjust it anyway. You have to care about how you protect it from rain.” Vu Hai Dang (haidang_alexandria, OtoSaigon Forum)

Velcro rocks! DIY mount it on your bike.


Inspiration

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

To achieve this objective, you need to concern about the ideal spot. GPS receiver’s screen should allow you to observe easily because you don’t want keep your eyes on it for long. Should it be on the mirrors or on the speedometer? One day on weekend, my friends and I did an experiment. [Picture 1] This was our first idea. Actually this is just a motorbike mirror* with an iPhone casing, but it sure was a good spot to look at. Sadly, with this you give the bad guys reason to attack you. [Picture 2] This spot was also good, because you can still use your mirror. The GPS receiver was close to the speedometer, easier to look at once. [Picture 3]. You can also try with iPad. For this experiment, the glare from the sun was unberable and nothing could be read. The iPad is also heavy in comparison to the iPhone. There’s a feeling that it is going to drop anytime! However, these are just ideas to get you rolling. iPad and iPhone now has many free navigation apps such as Global Navigation, amAze GPS – Worldwide Navigation and iMap. As long as you have Wi-Fi or 3G connections, those devices can turn the GPS. features on. Why not give it a shot, a little change can make your life different, at least your motorbike would stands out. *Try spotting the editor’s “peace” sign in the mirror.


LOCAL INTERPRETATION OF TECHNOLOGY By Duong Bao Y


Interactive technology in Vietnam has become a necessary factor in life. The Design News team have found a number of people who had utilised and interacted with communication and entertainment technologies. The interviewing process had been taken up by local candidates with the alternatives of occupation, age, social perception and even social background of people. Additionally, the article will have a little extend to the effect of these technologies in design field.

On the whole, almost interviewees, both technology and non-technology savvy can aware clearly the preeminence of Internet and mobile phone since these tools can serve them in communication, education and entertainment. There will be two main streams of opinions: one from people who use these technologies most (young generation mostly) and one from those who use them less. With people who see interactive technologies as a “buddy�, of course they have a very positive thought about them. They love these technologies because of some reasons that we all can image. Keeping in touch with friends and family anytime, accessing Internet both on laptop and mobile phone and entertaining yourself by many mini games are the main driving factors that make these young people become technology followers. Truc – one of our interviewee - is a student who has spent 100.000 VND mobile phone card within a half of a week just for talking to her boyfriend and other people. A remarkable amount is also paid for services such as downloading music, movies; watching movies, video clips online. For example, Lan and Nam - also students, ready to pay monthly for her account in a forum that allows members to download high definition films.Convenience and suitability for a new style of life


is the “whys� they spend their money on these servicesWhat people have missed on TV, at cinema theatre, football field; now they can watch it later on the Internet. Another reason that now is gaining more attention from everybody is that interactive technologies are really useful tools for education. Phu who is a software engineer said that he used to join in technology forums to look at discussions on his problem and always want a mobile phone with many modern features because he loves hi-tech. Another example is Trang. She is a staff in office often search on How-tos to help her to do some tasks and wish to have an iPhone 4 which is the newest version of its line to experience new features. As we see, interactive technology toward young generation is such an amazing thing and they want to follow along with its development. A little bit different from young generation, stream two do appreciate benefits of interactive technologies, however, they do not tend to catch up with every changes of it. Through our survey, we realize that people that have less interaction with these technologies are people from middle-age, spending half of their life without using them. They use Internet often for reading news, checking mails, and mobile phone for calling, mostly. Mr. Sang and Mrs. Linh is a couple, running a rice business – Mr. Sang can be seen as main owner, Mrs. Linh just helps her husband on some tasks, she spends most time at home. While Sang does use Internet and mobile phone with simple and basic function, Mrs. Linh does not know to use Internet and she just use mobile phone for only calling to her children. She gave a reason is that because she has been doing business for many years without Internet and it is still good till now so she does not see the need to use it. Her workers, additionally, have the same level of using these interactive technologies. Although not having much interaction with technology, these people still aware of the importance of them in life. Mr. Sang says that he is studying about managing business by using Internet because he understands benefits that he can take from doing this way. They all appreciate the support of these technologies in communicating from a far distance, entertainment and they can even aware of the positive effect of these tools on education for their children.


Towards opinions about computer games, all the answers show that people have a clear understanding both good and bad side of them. Our interviewees agree that there is a change in their attitude toward computer games. Mr. Sang, Mrs. Linh and Mrs. Tien – an architect asserted that they have felt unpleasant whenever they saw their children spend time to play computer. However, in the present, their opinions have been changed by explanation from and experience with their children. They realize that some computer games like remember games, answering question games or games that need clever working out, can serve both purposes: entertainment and practicing thinking skills, their thought has changed and they now often use them as a helpful entertaining form. From what is said above, people now are seeing things through these interactive technologies. In design field, it can be understood that things now can be seen widely via the effective use of technology. Interactive technology not only make designing more powerful but also shorten the distance between designers and audience. Consciousness of Vietnamese people about the importance of interactive technology will probably continue to increase in the future. Young generation is more interested in them. As a result, it will be great if designers can take advantage from this “bridge” to support the purposes of designing. For instance, working

for a campaign rising up awareness, creating a website about this campaign will be a good way to bring that campaign to everyone or by the use of Internet’s functions like website, upload video clip, interactive flash, etc.; advertising for new products can be more effective. In brief, technology is now a great tool for designers, especially Vietnamese designers, not only for supporting on the quality side of their works, but also in helping them connect to audience. Vietnam is not a country that is strong in technology; however, people understand how these technologies can benefit their life, their work, especially they are now being used strongly in designing field as a medium help designing reach its audience. Interactive technologies, besides the meaning of communication, entertainment and education, now also indicate integration of Vietnamese people to the world; catch up with the world’s development.


HTML5 VS FLASH By Doan Ngoc Duy

Apple's mobile devices use HTML5 for watching videos on Youtube without flash player.

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oday, HTML5 becomes well known due to it’s ability to run as a web application (web app.) on smart phones. A web app basically runs on the phone but exchangse data from web server as updates. New app developers who are not familiar with Objective C or or other streneous programming language can create a web app instead. This will be an added advantage for iPhone and iPad fan boys because web based videos can now be displayed in an alternative way in oppose to running through Adobe Flash player. Oh wait, did I forget to mention about interactivity as well? With HTML5 one one can create pretty impressive interactive application that can amaze Flash developers as it is not only interactive but it talks to the server as well! As an example, go have a look for yourself at www.html5games.com. Google is also exploiting the wonders of HTML5 by allowing people to download application and games, that are created with HTML5. If you are an iPhone developer, you would know the hassle of signing-up as a developer as to get apps to be approved. With HTML5 one can just click on "Add to Home Screen" button and use the website as a web app; example as jQTouch b is a webapp for iPhone, which can indicate the Geo Location. Compare the Facebook mobile app and web app overleaf. They sneakily look the same.


Webapp.

App. Some tips for Facebookers, if you cannot use Facebook app on your iPhone and iPod Touch, try using going to m.facebook and make a "Home Screen" It looks exactly like an app. Actually it is an app is some ways.


In addition, if in the past, the hotest game, Angry Bird was available on iOS and Android OS. Today this game can play on the computer with Google’s Chrome browser. The computer version was writen in HTML5. If you are skeptical, go download. It looks and even sounds exactly the same. The only difference is, you use a mouse instead of your flicking with your fingers. As a result, I believe HTML5 is gaining popularity. You can play an interactive game that is so much smaller in size compared on devices without the need to install Adobe Flash player. It’s a pity that most of the games on Zing me and other social network games requires Flash player to be isntalled before playing it on your browsers. However, don’t get too excited. HTML5 at the moment still has some disadvantage. You need to be running the current generation of browsers such as Safari, Firefox 4v. / 5v., IE 8/9 and Chrome. It cannot work on older devices and browser. Sea-

soned Flash users will also find it difficult to work on an interface that are full of mark up languges. It’spossible but is it worth it when you have zillion of lines of codes to animate an object when you can just tween the animation in Flash. You decide.


Diacritic and typography in Interaction By Doan Ngoc Duy

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o detect and identify interaction in typography is a hard task. The start off you can try spotting them in advertising campaigns around Ho Chi Minh city. For example, to get an In society today, many agencies use the interactive advertising including video, photography and game; thus they requires the flexible typeface for their projects. For example; Climax Interactive Agency (www.climaxinteractive.com) had to create as specfic typeface for advertising a lip product (bloomingkiss.com). Why? Vietnamese tyepefaces have diacritics. Look left, the circled element is how a diacritic would look like. Diacritics are not found in many typefaces. If a diacritic is not in place. The pronounciation would be different, thus spelling out a totally different meaning. With the correct diacritics, viewers can interact and read adverisement correctly.


Most design layout requires the use of 12 point size typefaces in sans-serif toencourage ease of reading. Imagine Vietnamese typefaces with diacritics. Once they are scaled to a 12 point can be difficult to distinguish. For example; this " ô" letter with a single diacritic is easier to read and find. However, double diacritics such as " ố ồ ỗ " are harder to find in typefaces. To add to the confusion, it is also harder to read in a small point size.


Climax Interactive Agency (www.climaxinteractive.com) had to create as specfic typeface for advertising a lip product


Doesn’t this look confusing? In graphic design and communication, the main importance of a layout is to communicate with readers. If there are too much of information we can say that it is infomation overloaded. What about when there are too many different typefaces? It will be difficult to categorise what is important in terms of hierarchy because all the different typefaces are shouting for attention. I think, it’s best to keep to a maximum of three different typefaces when possible to avoid confusion as to what is important and what is not important. For example; dates are important, so they should stand out more than other supporting words.


Functional Paper Folding By Nguyen Phuong Hong Cam

Interactivity, it is no doubt that when people think about this word they would automatically think about the internet, websites and applications. In fact, interactivity exists everywhere around us, but it is so common that both you and I do not ever think about or consider even once. I am interested in origami, and practice various kinds of objects, and have integrated interactivity and paper folding. This article is going to instruct you to make a stationary holding, which can be twisted in order to save more space and become more convenient to carry.


Preparation 1 pair of scissors 2 square sheets of color paper 1 hole punch, the size depends on your desire to hold stuff super glue


4. Do the same to the opposite edge

1. Pull the 2 opposite corners to the center of the sheet to make a triangle

4

1

2. Open the sheet and pull the 2 corners to the center

2 5

5. Fold the corners towards the center of the sheet

3 3. Turn over the sheet and pull the edge to the center line

6 6. Pull to the point


7. Fold the corner to the point

7

10

8

11

8. Do the same to the upper side

9

9. Fold downwards

10. Do the same to the upper side, you will get 2 two triangles making up a square

11. Make holes, you can resize the holes depending on your purpose. For example, if you want to hold pencils you will need a big punch. In this case I want to hold my brushes, so I use a small-sized punch.


14. Dada, it is done now. It will be like this

14

12 12. Make another part that is the same as you have done, and it is important to identify the right side.

15 13. It is almost done. Your entire job now is to stick the corners of the two parts. Remember to use super glue because it is more adhesive and on the other hand it does not ruin your paper, but you have to be very quick and careful as this will dry very fast.

13 15. The most interesting thing is when you twist the box upon the valley folds, you will get something like this


Interactive Entertainment Saigon Style By Tran Thi My Linh

Entertainment is an indispensable element in human life. Leisure activities like reading books or watching TV only allows passive involvement. With games, people tend to enjoy themselves more as it is more interactive. This trend is also the same in Vietnam.

Interactive Entertainment (IE) can refer to any type of game in which the player's actions directly affect the game. In addition, IE is used to describe video games or other types of multimedia entertainment where the actions and outcomes can be controlled by the player. Therefore, the reason why people like playing interactive games is that these games allow player to use skill or make decision to control character’s actions to investigate the storyline of the game.

Why is IE becoming more and more popular? Back in the past, Vietnamese do not have easy to access to IE. Few families had the ability to own a computer or a game console; therefore, most children end up going to cyber café to play games. Unlike the past, Vietnamese people, nowadays, have more chance to approach IE. Along with the development of technology, many types of game machines (computers, Playstation, Nintendo, Wii, etc.) are available and even cheaper than before People can also afford due to the recent development in Vietnam’s economy. It is obvious that IE is more and more popular in Vietnam. Among many kinds of games, somehow I can say computer game is the most popular one. Unlike other types of game machines (Playstation, Wii, Xbox 360, etc.), computer has become a necessary household appli-

ance in most of families in Vietnam. Moreover, we can easily see that there are

“...IE is not only a mean of entertainment and just for relaxation but also has advantages for human’s mind and sometimes physical...” many Internet café which has been operating for a long time and attracted many customers, especially students, coming to play online games. Benefits of IE Many people claim that these games do not bring any benefits and some parents do not allow their children to play; however, IE is not only a mean of entertainment and relaxation but also has advantages for the mind and sometimes physical attributes. Actually, IE helps us in improving eye and hand coordination. You can easily realize that most of games require players taking great coordination of the eyes and hands in order to react to the situation, especially difficult and dangerous one. Well, most of gamers easily realize this benefit; however, I want to indicate an example. I think that most of people know about a very popular and famous game named Mario. We easily consider that playing Mario needs eye and hand coordination. We must control the character to run, jump and hit the head of enemies. Sometimes we also need to run faster in order to jump further


to pass a big hole. Therefore, if the eyes and hands do not coordinate, we may hit the enemies or fall to the hole and the game is over. Moreover, many games provide various kinds of quiz and missions which need to be solved in certain period of time to win the games. As a result, this facilitates fast and accurate decision-making. By solving quizzes and missions, players are encouraged to memorize, thus enhancing brain fitness.

Drawbacks We cannot deny that they also some drawbacks of IE such as deteriorating eyesight, health or wasting money. Among different disadvantages, being addicted to these games, especially online games, has been the most serious issue in Vietnam recently. Addicted to games make players have illusion in their own life. Some even think that they are the characters with fantasy power in games that they play. This instense immersion makes their life turn upside down. These problems have been reflected in many newspapers and news in Vietnam.

“Angry Birds� - a very famous game which is available on Mac, Iphone and PC allows players using a certain number of birds to shot and kill all the enemies in order to win the game. This encourages players making quick and accurate decisions.

About one year ago, it was a topic of disgust. This is the time when people usually mentioned about online game addiction and its negative affects on young generation. Some articles had mentioned that some students had become criminals when trying to steal money of families or neighbors and even more serious because they lack the money for spending on their game. Along with the development of teh country, Vietnamese are becoming busier with added pressure. Relaxation and entertainment helps people to unwind after a hard days at work. With this, Interactive Entertainment is becoming more and more popular because it allows players to escape into a different realm interacting with characters in game and exploring its story. To enjoy the benefit of games, people should divide their time wisely when playing games. They should also think of the consequences that would affect their capabilties in the

real world. Parents can be stricter and control the budget of their children thus giving them less opportunity to indulge endless hours with computer games.

Internet cafe attracts many Vietnamese teenagers

Jump

Run

Hit the enemies


Interactivity with Physical Computing By Ondris Pui

Trying to get out of the usual “mouse click� interactivity. Now you can! With a microcontroller, light sensor and a bit of enthusiasts, you could build yourself an interactive screen display that triggers upon detecting a light source. This could be a fun project to warn intruders sneaking into your room.


Today, with easy access to products such as sensors, reasonably priced microcontrollers and the vast amount of open source programming languages, it is a feasible stage for any individuals who are keen to dabble into the world of physical computing, creating contents that are capable of fusing physical and digital environments together.

What this article is about? This article will look into the processes of creating a very basic interactive display that triggers upon detecting a light source. Note that methods described here are only guides for you to create your own projects. Tools and hardware can differ depending on what is available to you. Instrcutions are from a multimedia designer's perspective and might not have details like how an electronic engineer would explain.

What knowledge do I need to accomplish this project? Some basic understanding on how electronic circuit works. A bit of knowledge about object oriented programming or really keen interest to learn the basics. If you are a designer, knowledge of Flash Actionscript or Java will help.

Other things needed to accomplish this project. Set up a constant space for yourself where you can come back and continue on

with your project. A personal workshop is perfect. I would recommend this because my workflow is haphazard juggling between home and a bit of research and testing at work.

Time Needed. If you are new to electronics and programming. Do not underestimate the time taken for a basic project. If you are a graphic designer thinking of dabbling into physical computing, do not forget, beside on screen visuals, you now have another set of problems top deal which is physical connectons on electronic breadboards. Setting up, wiring, programming, debugging. You need to give a minimum of 3 hours for each session. Not unless electronics is your major. I find the most fruitful time you can get out of the project is when you spend 6 solid hours on one session. I know this is ridiculous but as of any project, the number of time put into the project equates the outcome. I am sure you you can work faster once you get used to it but at a beginners level, be preapared to live in a cave.


Hardware and Software A computer running Linux, Mac OSX or Windows that has a minimum of 1 USB port. Arduino Duemilanove Microcontroller or other microcontrollers. ( The closest option I found would be getting one from Singapore. http://www.sgbotic.com/) Arduino Development Environment (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software) Processing. An open source programming language (http://processing.org/download/) Jumper wires, breadboards, resistors and photo cell sensor. ( Nhat Tao electronics market at Nguyen Kim Street District 10, HCMC)


Light is detected by a photocell.

The Processing code on the next page gives you details as to how Arduino talks to the computer. An intruder opens up the door to your room. Arduino receives a signal from from the photocell and calls up a processing code that is located on your computer. The code is compiled as an App. In Processing you can export an app easily under the file menu> "Export Application"


import processing.serial.*; Serial myPort; // Create object from Serial class int val; // Data received from the serial port void setup() { size(800, 600); noStroke(); bx = width/2.0; // sets the x image position using 200/2 by = height/2.0; // sets the y image position using 200/2 rectMode(RADIUS); //draws the image from its center point // Open whatever port is the one you're using. String portName = Serial.list()[0]; myPort = new Serial(this, portName, 9600); //Kick starts the port }

void draw() { if ( myPort.available() > 0) { // If data is available, val = myPort.read(); // read it and store it in val } if (val == 0) { // If the serial value is 0, PFont font; // The font must be located in the sketch's // "data" directory to load successfully font = loadFont("ACaslonExp-BoldItalic-48.vlw"); textFont(font); text("room is clear", 300, 200); } else { // If the serial value is not 0, PFont font; // The font must be located in the sketch's // "data" directory to load successfully font = loadFont("ACaslonExp-BoldItalic-48.vlw"); textFont(font); text("Warning", 300, 200); //fill(0, 1, 153); text("of my", 300, 250); //fill(0, 102, 153, 51); text("Intruder!", 300, 300); }


Thank You.

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Design News volume 2