HOW DO WE LEARN?
WE MADE THIS HAPPEN: Concept: Alexander Venndt Claire Ngamvilaidee Christian Stjernqvist
BY HANNA LAGERBERG
IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THERE WAS ALWAYS A RIGHT ANSWER. WHEN YOU HAD THAT, YOU WERE GOOD.
Copy: Hanna Lagerberg PR: Pernille Ravn Josefine Gustafsson Design: Astrid Sylvester Pettersen Hongset August Levinson Jack Wild Video: Alexander Venndt Carmen Angelillo Daniel Johansson Katja Freitag Jack Wild Website: Nils Gäre Hejll Zulfiqar Haidari Marius Feldmann
So when do we stop trying and starting to think it’s scary to fail? Why does it feel so bad to make a mistake?
Sponsorships: Claire Ngamvilaidee Nina Hindriksson Martina Lindgren On-site: Josefine Gustafsson August Levinson Pernille Ravn Katja Freitag Information: Christian Sternqvist BIG thanks to Hyper Islands Marketing Coordinator Martina Lindgren for all your help!
Magazine Layout & Design: Astrid Sylvester P. Hongset DM13, Stockholm
When I graduated from gymnasiet I moved to Norway and started working in a kindergarden. Anybody who’s ever been around a child can agree that children are gurus of exploring. Whatever they see, whatever they feel, whatever they hear, has to be touched, tried and questioned. They ask about everything because they want to understand. Children are not afraid of being stupid or asking the wrong questions, because they have not yet learned that failing is something you don’t want to do. They ask, they play, they try, they fail, they try again and they learn.
When we start school we get taught that there is a right answer and a wrong one. I don’t believe in this linear look upon the world. That there is a right answer to everything seems just like an attempt to take the easy way out, to try to make order out of chaos. We’ve learned to be afraid to try out our own ideas, and to just believe in the ones that already exist. But if you never dare to think big, how could you ever possibly grow to your full potential? This fall I started school again. Now I am studying Digital Media at Hyper Island. I expected it to be different from my previous school experience, but not this different. At Hyper there are no answers. The methodology is that there is no true or false, a right answer doesn’t exist, you have to make your own perception and decide what good is, according to you. Hyper Island says you learn
by failing - how ever crazy your idea even seems, try it, even if it doesn’t work, you learn more from the experience than when you play it safe. I believe in this methodology, I think that you learn by keeping on questioning the world. To, like a child, play with exploring, try to do whatever you want and dare to fail. If you don’t take the world too seriously you are going to get so much more out of it. I don’t think it’s good enough to have the right answers anymore. I think you have to try it out for yourself. Therefore I am so excited to see what all the groups have created for this years annual Hyper Island exhibition, “Work hard, play hard”. We’ve had so much fun, we’ve had so many fights. We’ve tried crazy ideas, we’ve failed and we have succeeded. In school there has been all kinds of work going from building Facebook rape-tables (!) to coding musical hands. I expect extraordinary things because if I know anything from being a student of Hyper Island it is that we have not played it safe.
Hanna Lagerberg DM13, Karlskrona
THE 2011 EXPO: 02. THE EXPO GROUP 02. HOW DO WE LEARN? 03. CONTENTS 04. MAP OF EXHIBITION AREA
PRESENTING THE GROUPS: 06. GROUP 1: LU/OX MESH 07. GROUP 2: METROMOTE 08. GROUP 3: INSENSE 09. GROUP 4: GLOVSTER 10. GROUP 5: DROPS 11. GROUP 6: MADE IN MAN 12. GROUP 7: INUMBRA 13. GROUP 8: CHIME 14. GROUP 9: THE BLACK HOLE 15. GROUP 10: BEING FRANK 16. GROUP 11: THE MASTER BEAT 17. GROUP 12: P#CK YOU! 18. GROUP 13: MEET A SHEET 19. GROUP 14: DANCE DANCE TWEET 20. LEARNING FROM FAILING
1: LU/OX MESH WWW.LUOX.SE
PLAYFULNESS IS A VIRTUE If you have seen the movie Big with Tom Hanks from 1988, you will probably remember the piano-steps scene that takes place in a toy store. Big is a story about a 12-year old boy that over one night transforms into a 30-year old man. It’s the perfect story about how to preserve the child in us, and the piano scene is the epitome of playfulness, fun and creativity. You have to admit that there was something special about that scene that made you want to try out the piano-steps the minute the story unfolded before your eyes.
D-PAD: Linn Svenningson Eleonora El-achkar Matilda Bengtsson Jocke Schäfer
Peter Ebbe Sundberg Kanokporn (Claire) Ngamvilaidee.
Inspired by the movie scene mentioned above, we have created our own installation which we call by the name LU/OX MESH. The name LU/OX is a mash-up between the two Latin words lux which means light, and vox, that means voice. The words signify the bonding between light and sound. Our mission was to create a synesthetic experience by connecting body movement with light and sound and our solution for these requirements is to use the pressure sensitive floor, which is divided into grids, where people can interact with by using their bodies and movement. The concept relies on the collaboration between 2 or more people. Together they can create a physical visual and musical experience. Our
aim is to provide the users an opportunity to be the tone-setters in their own sound experience. We wanted a floor with pressure sensors and big enough for letting people to move around while they are working together creating beautiful melodies. It has been a challenge both space-wise and supplywise, but also a great advantage when it comes to customization. We had a vision, a blueprint. Combined with the use of tin foil, cords, high density rubber foam and some magic we have turned the tiles into homemade pressure sensors. The size of the floor is approximately 1 x 2 meters with 32 different tiles. Each row is assigned one sound. This equals to 4096 different sound and visual combinations. If you are the enough amount of people working together you will be able to use it easily to just play, create melodies or whatever comes into your mind. Our main inspiration for this concept, except for the scene from “Big” mentioned above, is a sinewave synthesizer made with flash that we stumbled upon prior to this project. You can experience it by yourself at http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix.
2: METROMOTE WWW.HEYDAY.NU
METROMOTE - SHAKE IT! Metromote is a device to control and manipulate music with your movements. Itis light, easy to handle and comes in a user-friendly format. You choose a song by turning Metromote to one side, all sides have different songs connected to them. Then you move it back and forth so the song keeps the right rhythm. If you move it too slow you get a lower bpm and a low pitch, and if you move it faster you get the opposite. With Metromote you can play a game of speed. The rules are simple: maintain the right tempo to succeed. Our idea: Our focus question was â€œhow do we create an emotional, immersive and personalized experience using interactive technology?â€? With technical components we wanted to create an interactive and fun installation that contained a physical object and music. It started with a DJ triangle and ended with the Metromote, a cube to control and play with the speed and the pitch in the song. In the beginning we had a lot of ideas how to do it and what to do with it. But as the project went on and we got more into the programming we realized our limitations. We had to reduce the features and refine the ones we kept.
HEYDAY: Jenny Gunnarsson Jonas Persson Joel Wennberg
Katja Freitag Rasmus Bengtsson Gustav Ingvarsson
We had some problems to decide the shape of our object, but since we wanted to have more than one song we thought that the best thing was to have solid sides to represent them. The solution was the cube. In the end, three days before the deadline
for the prototype, we decided to change the concept from just an interactive installation to become more of a game of rhythm, which challenges the user. Solutions: The technical arena we entered was unfamiliar territory for all of us. Figuring out the software Processing was the biggest challenge. Some of us had skills from front-end coding for the web, but that is not the same as programming. We had to learn how it worked and what the different codes did, hardcore coding in school and at home, day and night. The technologies we have used in this project are: a Wii-remote, containing an accelerometer, which allows us to measure g-force and angles, along with the software OSculator to enable the computer to read the values from the Wii-remote. We also use Processing to connect those values to different actions, like changing speed and pitch of a song. Lastly, we use Flash to create an interesting interface and to make it easer to play. New knowledge: There was a lot of turbulence when we made the groups for this project and we forgot a lot of Hyper Island methodology and group dynamics. Our biggest challenge was to build up the confidence and safety in our group. But we also had to deal with the fact that all of us have different ways of working and no one had any previous knowledge of technology. To deal with all this we used some parts of Scrum, the ones we thought was going to fit the project. We made up rules and goals, both individually and for the group. We talked a lot and preferred discussing rather than voting.
3: INSENSE WWW.INSEN.SE
ENJOY YOUR ENVIRONMENT! From the onset of the project, our group has shared a common goal to create something useful and meaningful. Our initial idea generation revolved around themes of sustainability, communication with plants, and creating a new sensory awareness of human-inhabited spaces. But we had no delusions: we would make something on the personal, home scale.
THE LOCALS: Markus Dahlbom Peter Christian Pernille Ravn Philippe Sainz
Gye-Sung Chun Rebekka Quiroz Wiberg Julien Donck
The result was “Insense,” a project that uses environmental sensors and visual output to give the home dweller an enhanced awareness of their indoor space. Environmental factors that might have seemed trivial become more apparent, and the user will use this information to increase their health and productivity. With this in mind, we researched which environmental factors most profoundly impacted human mental and physical health. We found that not only did an ideal balance improve quality of life, but also boosted productivity in the user’s professional life. We decided on four different sensors: temperature, sound level, light level, and CO2, and wired them into an Arduino microcontroller. The analog sensors’ signals are converted into digital, and then sent into Max/MSP software. From here, Max generates dynamic visual readings of the data on a screen, while simultaneously sending the signal to an interactive “lamp.” Inside the lamp is a strip of RGB LED’s: the red, green and blue, are each connected to the PWM outputs of the Arduino, such that all colors of the spectrum can be made. Hence, different combinations of air conditions translate as different colors. Our hope was to instill in the user associations between different colors and the varying states of his space, be it the workplace or home. While we were all psyched on our concept, we had some concerns about how our project would communicate in an expo setting. If most other
projects were based on immediate interactivity, how would ours be noticed if it doesn’t visibly change over a few hours? We solved this by adding another layer of interactivity: through a video simulation. The idea was to let viewers manually control the levels of temperature, sound, light, and air pollution and observe how it might affect someone at work. So we put the camera on Bekky and asked her to act out how, for instance, a drop CO2 might look. We recorded each of her realistic reactions and mapped these video clips to their corresponding environmental levels on four knobs. This puts our test subject literally in the hands of the passerby, as a kind of faux psychology experiment. This experience hopefully proves the importance of keeping the inhabited space in check! Putting our concept into practice, and creating workable solutions took up a considerable chunk of time. Because none of us were experienced developers, coders or hackers, we essentially started from scratch, and spent most of this time researching. Notably hard was how to get our variety of hardware to talk to each other in smooth unison. But where we lacked in experience we made up for in cunning and creativity. And we cut some corners along the way: we got around the obstacle of hard coding by using MaxMSP, which is a visual coding language, with many of the capabilities of “real” code. For someone who doesn’t know the syntax of C, this is a great way to design and implement dataflow. The Maxuino software, which bridges Arduino and MaxMSP, made it even easier. We can proudly say that not a single line of code was written for this project. The takeaway is that you don’t need an engineering degree to make awesome machines.
4: GLOVSTER WWW.GLOVSTER.SE
GLOVSTER - COLLABORATION BETWEEN PEOPLE, MUSIC AND VISUALS Ø for island consists of André Engdahl Jofré, Kimmy Bolke, Hanna Lilja, Filippa Edghill and Christian Stjernqvist. For the Hyper Island exploring technology module 2011 we have created Glovster. Exploring technology is about getting our hands dirty with the latest technology and with Glovster we have done just that. Glovster is an installation that let’s the users collaborate with people, music and visuals. We set out to create an experience that enables the user to walk away with inspiration, a craving to create and a smile. The name Glovster comes from the glove that will make all this possible. Radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) is getting smaller, cheaper, and more flexible, it was something we wanted to explore. We wanted the user to be able to interact and participate in their experience and with that in mind we choose RFID technology. Everyone in the group is fascinated about video mapping. To incorporate this in Glovster we needed the software Mad Mapper. For the music pieces we used a software called Ableton Live.
Ø FOR ISLAND: André Engdahl Jofré Christian Stjernqvist Daniel Larsen
Filippa Edghill Hanna Lilja Kimmy Bolke
Simply put Glovster contains of three things; RFID technology, video mapping and music. Each pillar has a RFID reader (NFC) and each glove has a RFID tag. By the touch of the glove, the reader acquires a signal that is received in a Java program, which Daniel programed. From there the signal travels through a port, via OSC (Open Sound Control format), to another
computer where OSCulator (OSC software) picks it up. OSCulator then sends the signal to Quarts Composer and Ableton Live, which start the music. In Quartz Composer we have developed an equalizer that visualizes the beat of the music. The equalizer is then projected onto the 3D wall through Mad Mapper. However this is easier written than done. The main challenges of Glovster have been the technical aspects. One of the biggest obstacles has been getting the RFID readers to communicate with Mac. There is not just one reader but three and no software is available to download. In order for the NFC to connect we needed a NFC library, which makes the connect easier. Working in MacOSX, the NFC library needs other components in order to work correctly and these where not easy to find. Our next solution was using Ubuntu, a Linux operating system. With Ubuntu we built a java program that connects with the NFC readers and send the signals via OSC to another computer, which has Quartz Composer. Ubuntu also detects all three readers. There are a lot of technical things to manage, but getting it to work and finding out why it doesn’t is the hardest part. It takes hard work, dedication and time. Don’t underestimate the amount of research a technical project like this demands. When obstacles occur (because they always do) reach out to the masters of the technology and ask for guidance.
5: DROPS WWW.HIDROPS.SE
MANY LITTLE DROPS MAKE A MIGHTY RIVER Play hard, for a good cause. For every point you earn you donate one krona to Wateraid. Without even opening your own wallet. There is a global watercrisis going on. One billion people lack access to clean water. Two million people die every year from water related diseases. For 200 kronor you can save one person and give him/ her access to water and sanity for the rest of his/ her life. Seven D’s goal is to save 22. - We felt that charity sometimes can be a bit slow and not keeping up with our time. We wanted to use technology as a tool for change, says Simon Gussing. Simon plays a lot of games in his spare time and saw this school project as an opportunity for creating his own. “Many little drops make a mighty river”, with these words in mind Seven D created Drops, a game where you as a player can make change. You are a water-spirit that flows around in a forest, and your job is to collect as many drops as possible. For every drop you earn, Web Convert Media, donates one krona to Wateraid, an unbound organization that works with sustainable solutions for bringing fresh water to poor people in need. The only thing you have to donate is a little time to play.
SEVEN D: Simon Gussing Jørgen Sibbern Hanna Edghill Anton Reimertz
Karl Sandgren Johan Strömqvist Hanna Lagerberg
By using projection mapping, Seven D created a cool surface for the game, using boxes as the projection area. The water-spirit floats down into valleys and around corners, giving the game literally an extra dimension. - We wanted to flip the idea of gaming being an evil force, quit blaming the game! says Jørgen Sibbern.
The group didn’t have a lot of experience in the area before they started off. The main task was to explore technology and the first weeks were used to fiddle around with various, high-tech concepts. This included their initial idea, to create a visual print of your own vice. However, finding unique features urned out to be impossible. They therefore had to give up the idea and go in a totally new direction. - It felt a bit hopeless, we had to change everything. We found out that the only thing we wanted to keep on working with was projection mapping, says Karl Sandgren. The group split in two subgroups, concept and tech, as they felt that they had to focus an equal amount on both parts. It was friday afternoon and the concept group sat in a grouproom in Karlskrona, glancing at the sea right outside the window, when they came up with the idea to work with water. The new concept that could be described in one sentence, “Play hard, for a good cause”, and brought the idea back to the tech group and high-fived it. Since then, everything has moved very fast. - I think that the biggest learning from this project is that you have to have a concept that speaks for itself, the rest will go so much smoother if you have a steady ground, says Hanna Edghill. At the exhibition, the group hope for a lot of visitors that want to help them to play for Wateraid. - Come and play for a good cause with us! smiles Anton Reimertz.
6: MADE IN MAN WWW.MADEINMAN.COM
MAKE A ROOM COME ALIVE SIMPLY BY MOVING YOUR BODY 6 minds at Hyper Island, a digital institute in Stockholm, had enough of physical machine interfaces taking over human lives. So they decided to do something about it. Their efforts to empower man in the face of physical machine interfaces has culminated in a project: “Made In Man”. Karoline Kristoffersen, one of the 6, explained, “We are students at a digital school where we spend 10 hours plus daily interacting with machines (computers, mainly). We wanted to question and challenge how humans and machines interact, and the relationship between man and machine.”
MADE IN MAN: Petter Samuelsen Zulfiqar Haidari Alissa Lorentz
Medhane Asefaw Pierre Gomez Karoline Kristoffersen
The Thought Process: Man once created machines, but the very machines that man once made are now controlling man. Human behavior and movements have adapted to the physical interfaces of machines (keyboards, mice, screens, buttons, switches, etc.) These 6 students made it their mission to bring the power back to man, so that humans can control machines through free physical movement. No need to press a button or click a screen to make something happen. Instead, people can just move their arms and legs within a free space devoid of cables and wires. No physical interfaces, less manufactured junk. They call their project “Made in Man,” an interactive installation room within which people can create sound, visuals, and lights simply by moving their bodies. How did they go about making this a reality? First they researched the Kinect, a motion sensing input device made by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console. They
leveraged Kinect’s ability to sense human movements, and translated these movements into an output that would change the visuals, sounds, and lights in the installation room. They found software that would affect visual projections (Modul8), sounds (Ableton), and lights (Processing and open source microcontroller Arduino) within the room. They used Quartz Composer, a visual programming language for processing and rendering graphical data, as a means to tie the Kinect to these other softwares. The Kinect sends signals about a person’s movements to Quartz Composer, which then sends signals to Ableton, Modul8 and Arduino. With each movement made by the person in the room, Ableton produces the sound, Modul8 the visuals, and Arduino signals for the lightbulbs in the room to dim, brighten, or blink – all corresponding simultaneously to human movement. What does “Made in Man” look like? It is an interactive installation room consisting of 3 walls, with lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, and speakers in the corners of the room. Each wall has graphic visuals projected onto it to surround the visitor with a new environment. The graphics on the walls, lightbulbs on the ceiling, and sound from the speakers react to each move made by the visitor. Visitors play with light, sounds, and visuals by moving their hands and arms, and morph their surroundings at their will. The result is a seamless experience literally and physically created by each visitor. A true experience made in man.
7: INUMBRA WWW.INUMBRA.COM
YOUR INNER CHILD IS LOST IN A DARK WORLD. YOU NEED TO FIND IT. IT’S TIME TO STEP INTO THE SHADOW. This is the story of how a group of young people during a hectic month at Hyper Island, while exploring technology also got to explore a dark world of wonder, reflect on childhood, and learn new things about both themselves and others. Collectively, we call ourselves ”M.O.M.” We’re a diverse group, composed of seven individuals with seven completely different ways of looking at the world. So no one was more surprised than us when, during our three-day brainstorm, an idea that everyone liked suddenly appeared out of nowhere. We decided to go with the concept of a game where the player’s shadow interacts with the environment. This was he birth of Inumbra.
GROUP M.O.M: Nina Hindrikson Johan Olsson Pavel Necas Anton Heestand
William Andersson Eduardo Fitch Fredrik Rydén
After some early concepts we distilled the idea into its current form; your shadow represents your inner child, and the dark world the game takes place in represents the scary place that your inner child is lost in now that you’ve moved on to the grown-up world and forgotten about him or her. The child must traverse four ”levels”, or sequences, all based on different symbolisms related to how adult life would impact your inner child. In every sequence, there is an action that must be taken in order to progress onward. In the final sequence, that shadow on the other side of the screen finally finds the player, completing the game. With roughly three weeks left to work, we had to make it simple. Instead of improvising out tech, we chose to work with the Microsoft Kinect, and instead of creating complicated gameplay we created the experience with
our team members’ talents in art and music. A busy expo is not the place to convey complicated stories, so the set-up is simple and easy to understand. Interactions were designed with the intention of keeping play-time short, to ensure that as many visitors as possible get the chance of experiencing Inumbra. Development started with a roller coaster ride of Kinect tests, printing of reference material, and furious sketching. We decided to use Adobe Flash to build the game engine, because of the good documentation and solutions for the Kinect. And while the guys were doing that, the art department had their own struggles with the graphic vision of the game. In daily morning meetings, each person’s progress was followed up according to the deadlines in the schedule. Assignments were handed out as needs arose, with everyone pushing their talents, trying new things to get the right look for the game. We went from a wild concept stage with completely different ideas of what was going to be created, through a shared vision, into a complete, full-fledged immersive experience ready to show off at the expo. We got to know each other on an intimate level, to the point where we can read och other like open books. We learned to kill our darlings and to trust in our fellow group members’ talents. And in the end, we also got a little bit closer to understanding our own inner children, learning how to take them out of that dark place we shut them into when we left childhood.
8: CHIME WWW.THEBLANK.SE
INTRODUCING CHIME We live in an environment where digital conversation is constantly created, exchanged, and passed on. Many of these opinions, emotions, celebrations, criticisms and questions are quickly forgotten and eventually lost as they travel further downstream in the data-flow. What’s more, so many people miss out on these conversations in their current form as they are only experienced by those who search for them. We want to harness the power of all the digital conversations that will be generated by the Work Hard Play Hard Expo 2011 and use these as the driving force for our exhibit. Discussions surrounding the expo will be blended into its’ audible landscape for all visitors to experience and enjoy, as if they were voices in the wind. Chime is a digital wind-chime that re-interprets and re-purposes conversations from Twitter and transform them into ambient melodic utterances. Viewers will also be able to view the Tweets as they fall into place and are transformed letter by letter.
THE (BLANK): Joakim Wimmerstedt Jack Wild KarL Sundberg Jacqueline Sibert
Chloé Laisné Max Jacobson Bjarki Helgason
We wanted to create a subtle yet effective concept that could embody the spirit of the exhibition and be enjoyed passively by all of our visitors. We started our idea generation with this in mind and had an open discussion, suggesting different ways in which this could be achieved. Having a clear goal helped us to formulate our ideas and develop our idea fully. We then divided the group into task teams, based on which areas we wanted to learn more about. In order to maintain synergy between
the work groups we sat together and kept each other informed on our latest developments and opinions. Initially, a lot of our attention was focused on exploring the various audiovisual designs and coding options that were open to us. In terms of programming we looked into three options – Processing, C++ and ActionScript. We decided that ActionScript served our needs best as it is easily accessible from the web, has a large library of pre-existing code, and has the ability to do exactly what we need in a way that we can easily work with. We also had to research how we could make sure of the Twitter API to make Chime work autonomously. In terms of the design, we tested out a few different themes, including different instruments, colours, tempo’s and visuals, and after a relatively short time experimenting we developed a theme which we all instantly felt fitted our motives perfectly. We found that the coding part of our project was a major challenge for us. As we decided not to designate roles based on our current knowledge, the coding required a lot of research, practice, and trialand error. Luckily Chloé had experience coding, so she was able to help, especially as the deadline drew close. We also had to work under time pressure, which was made all the more intense by the fact we had spent the first week of our time working on another project which we eventually had to let go, however, we feel that this increased pressure helped our learning, and we are all very happy with the outcome.
9: THE BLACK HOLE WWW.THEBLACKHOLEEXPERIENCE.COM
WE MINDFUCKED THAT SHIT LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. We Put the Process in Processing. While coming up with our vision for Hyper Island’s exhibition theme, our group stumbled upon a common impulse that we all shared: We loved the idea of toying with human perception and curiosity. With this in mind, we set off on our idea generation sessions with heads held high. The biggest challenge during this process was admitting our practical limitations: many of us have never worked with programming or circuit boards before, and we only had X amount of time to gain and apply that technical knowledge. Embracing these realities was thus a sobering process, but it also helped us realize the importance of “cutting the crap”. In other words, we had to do our best with the resources that we had on hand, but this became a massive waiting game because our progress relied on two factors: time (to figure out the coding) and money (asking for sponsorship). It’s easy to see how we became confused and frustrated by these issues - they were simply beyond our control. As a result, we did not use our time as wisely as we could have.
THE LASERBANANAS: Soumar Taliaa Joanne Lam Robin Rådenman
Fredrik Dejert Astrid Sylvester P. Hongset Anton Andersson
After a process follow-up with an external coordinator, however, we came to a consensus regarding project management: we needed it in order to work better and more efficiently. It was absolutely necessary that we stepped away from our project in order to critique our overall approach. A rolling management plan was then swiftly implemented, with each member of the group trying their hand at the role for one day of the week.
What Feelings? Gut Feelings “The Black Hole” is constructed to engage people, to make them curious and to challenge their perception of how things work. The way we did this is by using screens showing a live picture of yourself from different angles. Some in real time, some not. And we added sound. Sounds simple? Yeah, we thought so too. That’s why we felt the need to jazz it up with sensor triggers, magic mirrors, motion detection and miles of code. Given our limitations within the coding field, we still managed to put it most of it together with the help of various open source software. We ended up with a complex solution, made to enhance the experience of not being able to see your face. But suddenly we all realized that this new found technical complexity was suffocating the core of our concept. The magic of our idea is not technological grandeur, it lies in the human values we can make people questions by means of using technology. Technology does not make this installation great, the people who interact with it does. Therefore we went with our gut feeling, our belief that less is in fact more when you’re presenting a strong concept. So we ended up with a simple yet multi-layered trick, an illusion that gives you the feeling of vertigo - as if you’ve entered some kind of alternate time/space dimension. And what can really be more truly playful than just that?
1O: BEING FRANK WWW.BEINGFRANK.ME
PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD.
SEVEN ACCIDENTS: Arild Amundsen Ezekiel Aquino Marius Feldmann Natsai Mandisodza
Johan Matsgård Antonino Ognissanti Molly Rennéus
We wanted our concept to be easy to understand and play; interactive; and groupcentric, yielding different results each time. Being Frank is an interactive physical game designed to be played by 2 people, who together as 1 body work to control the arm and leg movements of the character, Frank. Coordination and teamwork are key as the players try to hit and kick away harmful projectiles. Staying alert is also important because the limbs the players are responsible for controlling change suddenly and randomly throughout the game.
Only a basic knowledge of programming was necessary for this project.
We chose to build a gaming system using Kinect (Microsoft’s motion sensing input device) and Flash (Adobe’s multimedia and animation platform). We connected the Kinect to a computer through the XCode visual development environment app Quartz Composer (QC) using OSCeleton and a lot of other drivers from the Tryplex Kinect Toolkit. Once we had all the movement readings from the players’ different joints, we used a socket server to send the information as XML (Extensive Markup Language) from the program Oscar into Flash. We then coded the game itself in Flash using the xand y-coordinates we got from the different limbs in QC to control Frank.
Our key challenges were hooking up the Kinect and getting it to work; getting the correct readings; programming in 2 (rather than 1) players; figuring out the coding controls and game mechanics; and getting the controls to shift mid-game.
Before we began coding, we researched what could be done with a Kinect. We looked into case videos, source codes, samples, and even tried out different source development kits. We then looked into all the different Kinect-supporting programming languages and editors.
We found the following online resources particularly helpful: www.as3kinect.org; www.actionscript.org; http://code.googole.com/p/tryplex. What was almost more important was patience, determination, and reverse engineering skills.
When working with this technology, it’s good to remember that while the Kinect can register up to 6 players, it can only track 2 simultaneously. And due to the sensitivity of the Kinect sensor, it is necessary to anticipate and plan for any disturbances in the recording area that could impact the results of the game. Come say hello at space #10 and try out Being Frank for yourself!
11: THE MASTER BEAT WWW.MASTERBEAT.SE
PLAY WITH YOUR FINGERS. We set out with the ambition to create something that matched the theme “play”. Something that was gonna be awesome, doable and original. We went in a direction that’s enjoyed by everyone, music. For us the greatest challenge was that playing music requires a lot of training. We wanted to eliminated that gap and let everyone create or play along to their favorite tunes. This led us on the path to Master Beat. An instrument where you don’t need to practice dexterity. You’ve practiced these movements every day of your life. Just put your pointer-, middle-, ring- or pinky finger to your thumb and music will play. When we started out we were all set on using the Arduino, although no one in the group had experience with it. There was also a feeling of uncertainty if our programing skills would be enough. All we had programed before was HTML/CSS. After a tough process testing everything out and choosing new ways to do it, we created a fully functional Master Beat. Although it was tough at times we eventually managed to create a fully functional Master Beat.
THE MASTER BEAT: Amina Kesraoui August Levinson Elias Liedholm
Jonas Linder Karolina Friberg Nils Helmersson
The Master Beat is built by using velcro. That way we can use the velcro for both holding the cables in place and make them adjustable for different hand sizes. We put cables between the velcro sheets and then sew the sheets of velcro together. Copper tape was put on top to make the contact points bigger and easier to hit with your thumb. When your thumb hits your
fingertips the circuit will connect and a signal will be sent. Through cables the signals go into the circuit board of an old computer keyboard, instead of using an Arduino. Which was our original plan. “We were gonna build this with an Arduino board with a MIDI output. But we decided against it kind of late in the process. It was too much trouble for too little gain, and given the time we had left we decided to go with a keyboard solution instead.” - Amina Kesraoui The circuit board from the keyboard converts the electrical signals into something the computer can use, normal keyboard strokes. After the signals leave our black box they go though a USB-cable.When the signals arrive in the computer they are sent out to both Flash and Ableton live. Flash is used for the visual presentation. It gives the users a direct way to not only hear but also see what they are currently doing. The Flash file relies on a simple code where each keystroke represents a different frame in the animation. That frame then displays the color and chord which represents that keystroke. In Ableton Live a music sample is looped for as long as you hold the button in. The set of samples can easily be changed. So that you can play whatever you want whenever you want.
12: P#CK YOU! HTTP://SKOGSVISION.TUMBLR.COM
P#CK EVERYONE! The Concept: Social media has become a great big part of peoples everyday life the past few years. Almost everybody use some kind of social network. This is why we, Skogsvision, wanted social media to play a central role of our idea. Our basic concept lie in the fundamentals of an old, reliable game, air-hockey. Now, you may wonder what’s special about that, so lets make things a bit more clear. By using the fundamentals of an air-hockey game, we provide the players with an easy way of playing a fun game, on their own premisses. The game works like this; Two players log onto their desired social network, Facebook or Twitter, type in a status-update or tweet, then use this line as a puck. The loser of the match will then, automatically, post the status or tweet to their feed. This way the winner has decided what the loser posts! Higher stakes creates higher engagement and more fun! Simple as that. Air-hockey with a nice twist!
SKOGSVISION: Annah Odehammar Atli G. Hjartarson Francisco Seiz Freitas
Mikael Westman Nils Gäre Hejll Sebastian Otarola
The execution: What did we need in order to produce this wonderful game? Well, to start off with we needed some good calculations on the size of this thing. We decided to build our very own playbox. This playbox had to be able to hide a projector, a mirror, a webcam and some wires inside, which made it kind of a BIG deal. We got some help with the actual montage of the playbox which saved us a lot of time and sweat. On top of the playbox we needed some kind o touch surface. For this, we got a plexiglas. With the technology of motiontracking with a webcamera and infrared led-lights we were able to create a multitouch surface to use for our air-hockey game.
The research: For skogsvisions wonderful developers, the research was on. They dug into some really nice ”how-to’s” and found some great guidance on how to code and then connect the different parts of technology used, to fulfill our solution. They soon realized the best way of creating our idea would be to use ActionScript 3 for coding the game and Community Core Vision for translating the webcameras motiontracking to mousemovements. Link for research: http://nuigroup. com/go/lite The key challenges: Our biggest challenges with this project would be the actual building of the playbox. We all felt a bit anxious about building it ourselves since none of us had any experience in the aera of carpentry. We solved this by gettint actual carpenters to build the playbox for us. Another great challange was those the developers met. Gathering all the knowledge they needed in the limited amount of time turned out to be quite hard. They had to face the disappointment of failure a couple of times but with longer hours and a lot of brain activity they were able to solve the problems they encountered along the way. Main challenge for this project was definitely the timeframe. We all misjudged the amount of time that we actually had to put into this project in the end. We will take this knowledge with us into future projects!
13: MEET A SHEET WWW.MEETASHEET.COM
THAT’S THE SHEET! One blank canvas, a thousand possibilities. That was the initial thought that set spark to something that would finally result in Meet A Sheet. Coderangutans - the team behind this project, replaced screen with sheet and created an elastic touch sheet. Meet A Sheet explores the way we interact with digital systems through the use of experimental interfaces. What did you want to achieve with Meet A Sheet? In a world of touch screens and buttons, we wanted to create something different. With belief that in a near future any surface can be turned into a interactive interface – we decided to prototype a glimpse of the future in this technology. So what is Meet A Sheet? Meet a sheet is a blank canvas that transforms into a visual experience when you interact with it. By poking or stroking the canvas, the projection comes to life and allows the user to play with and modify the visuals. The elastic surface brings a whole new dimension to the experience and differs from the rigid plastic screens that we are used to.
CODERANGUTANS: Carl Oscar Lund-Hansen Jessica Renas Baban Josefine Gustafsson
Pepe Borrás Prakash Khatri Chhetri Sanna Westermark
What technologies have you explored? The mechanism behind the sheet is a combination of different hard- and software. For the hardware, we are using Microsoft Kinect, a projector and a computer. The software we are working with is Apple’s Xcode for code framework, Quartz composer to visually modify the code and Tuio, a Quartz composer patch, to translate the video input from the Kinect into data that can be read by Quartz composer.
How did you set up this project? After having an intense idea and research session, we all fell in love with the idea of using this alternative interactive surface. When the core of the idea was set, we started researching the possibilities and challenges we could face. Eager and excited we rushed into town and bought a test piece of the elastic fabric. After that a long period of trial and error followed. What challenges did you encounter? We have been facing challenges each and every day, since our coding skills were less than intermediate when we first started off. Despair was followed by happiness which was followed by despair. The road has been bumpy but looking back, we learned a bunch during these past weeks. Is there something you wish you would have done different? Well, we could have been quicker on deciding the purpose of the interaction. We played around with different interface designs and found the whole new world of coding so interesting that we could not decide on which interaction to go with. No regrets though, our indecisiveness just made us try and fail - which is the best way to learn, right? Do you have any advice for someone who wants to make their own interactive sheet? Research is key. If you are code rookies like us, you need to prepare for spending hours on researching and watching tutorials in order to understand the different code languages. Also, be sure to have a clear goal on what you want the interactions to do. Other from that, have fun and love thy sheet!
14: DANCE DANCE TWEET WWW.DANCEDANCETWEET.COM
OH WHAT A FEELING, DANCING ON THE KEYBOARD Small Office is a group of six digital innovators at Hyper Island. Armed with creative thoughts, lunatic-driven motivation and playful minds they re-invent the norm. What is your concept? Dance Dance Tweet is an interactive physical game allowing players to tweet by dancing! It’s a modern hybrid of an arcade game and a 80s disco club. People can jump around on a large-scale keyboard to spell out words and tweet them to the world via Twitter. The aim of the game is to get the highest score by being the fastest and most accurate. The best wins! What approach do you have to the project? It has been important for us to build up a strong group culture from the very beginning of the project. We all wanted to have fun with developing and building our installation.
SMALL OFFICE: Moira Ganley Ingrid Meyer Sunde Jacob Gunnarsson
Alexander Venndt Sebastian Höglund Jonatan Pettersson
keyboard. The web interface is built by using PHP, HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery. What key challenges did you encounter and how were they faced? One challenge we faced was implementing Twitter in an appropriate way into our concept. We didn’t want Twitter to loose it’s meaning and at the same time we wanted to make the game as easily accessible as possible. In the end, we decided to have players retweet already existing tweets based on current popular trends on Twitter. These tweets are broadcasted to the world from our very own Dance Dance Tweet account. What key things do you need to think about when working with your specific technology? We need to be organized! There are 30 keys, a lot of inputs and outputs, so we need to build our prototype efficiently and quickly in order to test our technology thoroughly. Another thing is the user experience: How does it feel to play the game with the interface, lights, sounds and an audience behind you? Things like that are very hard to test before all the different components are functioning together. If someone wants to build their own Dance Dance Tweet keyboard, how do they get started? Of course it depends your level of experience and knowledge of programming and coding. However, if you’re a newbie (like most of us!) start out with getting a basic understanding of Arduino (www.arduino.cc) and coding (www.hackaday.com). From that point, it’s a matter about patience and learning by doing! Go for it!
LEARNING FROM FAILING BY JACK WILD
“SUCCESS IS NOT FINAL, FAILURE IS NOT FATAL: IT IS THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE THAT COUNTS” – WINSTON CHURCHILL. I’ve always been scared of failure – and perhaps that’s why I (luckily) haven’t experienced it very often. I like to think it’s down to a combination of determination, careful consideration, listening to advice, and perhaps a little bit of luck thrown in for good measure – but by no means to playing it safe. If I’m honest, my recent track record of ‘things just working out’ has probably made me a little bit complacent. But guess what? Recently I failed. And guess what? It feels like shit.
joystick, you’d aim with the cross-hairs and see how many ducks you could get in a minute. If you missed, or took too long the ducks would “fly away” and another target would light up. Simple? As it would turn out… No. We enthusiastically embarked on our mission, developing the graphics, designing the frame, sourcing our components, contacting sponsors (thanks, Meanwhile!), and working out the electronics. Aah. The electronics.
The theme of the expo this year is to be ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’, and with that in mind, we set out to create the most awesome re-make of one of the most awesome classic games of all time: ‘Duck Hunt’ on the Nintendo NES.
Our game was to be run by stepper motors (which we “borrowed” from a large format printer which we spent a fantastic few hours taking apart) controlled by an Ardunio microcontroller, with the aim being detected using LED’s and light sensors. For absolute novices like us, this is hard, and I think I can speak for us all when I say I have a newfound level of respect for electrical engineers and programmers. With one week to go, we were 80% of the way there (although we’d had to simplify the idea along the way), when a dodgy USB port killed all three of our Ardunios. Getting hold of these in Stockholm takes more time (and money) than we had, so we had no option but to start again from scratch.
The idea was to physically build a big frame which would house the game, with the graphics printed on the back of the frame, and with two mechanically controlled crosshairs on the X and Y axis. The duck to aim for would light up, and, using a retro-style
After a hurried crisis meeting we came up with a new idea – a digital “windchime” which uses the data created by a certain searchable subject to generate sound and graphics, re-purposing and re-using the masses of data which passes us by every single
Three months ago, I left London, and boarded a plane to Stockholm to continue my education, studying Digital Media at Hyper Island, and I can hand-on-heart say that it’s been the best three months of my life. For the last five weeks I’ve been in a team of seven working on a project (or should I say projects!) for the Hyper Island Exploring Technology exhibition.
second of every single day. The problem is, only one of us has had experience coding, and we’re so close to the deadline that it makes me wince to think about it. Nevertheless, we’re hanging on in here, and powering through to get it finished on time for Thursday (it’s now Tuesday evening). At the moment it looks like it’ll get finished on time, but it’s still looking sketchy. I guess you could say that I’ve learned not to be so complacent! One thing that has gone extremely well, however, is my knowledge development. I have learned SO much doing this project, and after all, isn’t that why I came all the way here in the first place? When I look back on the projects; everything that went wrong, everything that didn’t work, everything that didn’t go our way; I’m still not sure I know what it’s like to fail after all, because I don’t know what it’s like to give up.
Jack Wild DM13, Stockholm