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Initial ideas

To help create my initial idea I came up with a list of 16 possible choices. This was then re-enforced by the definition I formed on what an expanded interface is. From this I decided on creating a foot controller this idea developed over time however I did very quickly decide that the form the foot control would take would be a wobble board. As it enforces what an expanded interface is by creating a foot

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

Fig. 1. List of Ideas

controller which allows you to control the mouse on a computer screen this second part however developed fast into something completely different which was only helped by trial and error. The drawing (see fig. 2.) was one of my first ways I thought about how my initial idea may look. The red dots were sensors this is how I thought it would work before I found out about accelerometers which helped my idea to develop.

Fig. 2. Wobble Board Diagram


My research started by looking into the logic behind picking the subject for my expanded interface, one of the reasons which I already knew about but researched into still was the use of wobble boards to help improve dyspraxia and also the use of them with ankle recovery. By doing this I understood that if I could attach a desirable or logical activity to the device this will make people wish to use it

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

Fig. 1. Wobble board for dyspraxia

more and in return help the ankle recovery process, As well as research the social factors around my idea I also looked into the technological side such as Matt Cutts (see Fig. 2.) who used a wii balance board to make a dot move around on a screen.

Fig. 2. Matt Cutts Wii balance board on Linux

Idea development

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

Fig. 1. First experiment

Fig. 2. Iphone on wobble board

Fig. 3. Wii on wobble board

My idea has changed over period of time while I have been doing this project and my experiments have helped me as they act as mile stones through the development of my idea as a physical object. My original idea of using sensors on a wobble board to control the mouse on a screen disappeared when I learned about accelerometers my first trail (see Fig. 1.) was using a iphone (see Fig. 2.) which contains a form of a accelerometer and I managed within two weeks of the start of the project to succeed in making a dot move around on a screen using the accelerometer in the iphone however this was not a viable option for me as I don’t own a

iphone myself but discovered that similar technology lies within the Wii remote control and I have used this to my advertence to control the mouse using DarWiin program and this allowed me to develop my idea further as so far my interface only allowed you to have a virtual reaction. This lead me on to using processing to turn my device into a musical interface which I did using the ESS library for processing allowing you to change the pan and the pitch of two waves. When I completed this my idea developed one furtherer step as I was interested to see it my interface could include other elements of the body. This lead me to create a

simple processing sketch which allowed you to play 4 notes on piano by pressing 1, 2, 3, 4. However by doing this I learnt that maybe it was not wise to add other elements to interface at present as people found it hard to control the music they were making.

Fig. 4. Push button experiment

Technical development

Alongside the idea development sits the technical development in the case for my project I used a mixer of premade software such as DarWiin which has been designed for a Wii remote to be connected up to a computer with Bluetooth most likely a MacBook pro as well as programming languages such as processing (see Fig. 1.) this and the Library ESS helped me developed the necessary code to help build my idea for a musical interface and my push button side project.

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

Fig. 1. Processing code

The other half of the technical development is my website (see Fig. 2.) which I created from the ground up by using css and html with some jquery as well however I didn’t use my own jquery but I have in the source view written comments on each bit to show that I have not simply taken code but I understand this code as well.

Fig. 2. Html website

Problems & solutions

Within the project most of the problems came in the form of technical difficulties these came in different waves. The first major difficulty was that I wanted to connect a wii remote to a processing sketch directly to create the sound however with force hope I followed a online tutorial (see Fig. 1.) which only lead to frustration and disappointment as I could not achieve what I wanted I found a way around

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

Fig. 1. Brock craft tutorial

this by using DarWiin which I could use to allow the Wii remote to control the mouse meaning that I needed to create a processing sketch which works on the mouse’s movement. Another difficulty I faced was in the form of a error which kept reoccurring within the push button trails (see Fig. 2.). The problem being not enough memory I tried to increase the memory and it works to a certain degree but I could not completely fix the problem.

Fig. 2. Processing sketch error

Final outcome & Evaluation

The final outcome from this project is a working prototype using the Wii remote as hardware support and I have displayed this on my website with a number of videos and photos. I am happy with my final piece because it shows that I have accomplished what I set out to achieve but I have not let my overall goal to get in the way of development. The final piece in some ways is still a concept as I have only touched the surface of what my piece can do.

Fig. 1. Wii remote on wobble board

Jason Atkinson Expanded interface project

In reflection I wish I could have had time to improve on some areas for example the fact that I used a wii remote as the hardware means I did not make anything physical this is my one major let down however I also have some smaller concerns mainly acting on feedback which I received to improve and develop my work further as I feel my work has not finished. The development is at a point of evaluation but in the future I may wish to come back to this project and continue forming a tool in which I can try and use in any way I what, to generate new forms of expression and creativity.

Fig. 2. Processing sketch on screen display

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