What is I-digi-ation?
I-digi-ation is an attempt to bridge the gap between what's physical and what's digital. The main goal is to replace conventional ways of interacting with computers i.e. through the use of a mouse and keyboard. To do this, it uses a Kinect sensor to track the body movements of the user to allow them to move intuitively and enhance their interaction with the digital world. As seen from the video, movements made by the user used a large portion of the body, moving in a fluid manner. The current purpose of this project is to allow students of design classes to intuitively manipulate and experiment with shapes to form new shapes. Its based off of the NCEA Assessment in DVC or Graphics that encourages and teaches students go through the process of ideation; the formation of ideas or concepts.
Who can benefit from this?
The main target audience are students of design as it is based around a process that all upcoming designers must learn. This application of digital interaction aims to improve the experience for students of design that find themselves restricted by the movements made with conventional tools such as mice and keyboards. This can benefit those that aim to create designs in a more natural process or wish to explore and manipulate designs quickly and intuitively.
I conducted interviews with possible stakeholders to see if this would truly benefit their process of ideation through either showing examples of the project in use or getting them to try it out themselves.John Dobson, head of the Technology department at Glendowie College, said that it can be helpful for his class as it is essentially "explaining movement with movement". Matan Fadida, a first year student of Product Design at AUT experienced it first hand and commented that it would be great if it could be improved to use 3D space. He elaborated, saying that for ideation, they sculpt their designs from a block of clay but later on have to recreate it as accurately as possible on SolidWorks. He finds the experience of moving from an intuitive activity such as sculpting to CAD designs with a mouse unpleasant and wishes that he could just as easily remake his clay design to a digital format. This gives I-digi-ation a path to go towards as a greater goal for improving the experience of digital interaction.
I-digi-ation didnt always start out as I-digi-ation. It initially was a project about a made up technology used in made up ways. One of the biggest things to reflect from this project is be ambitious but work within my own restrictions. I was dealing with a concepts that used a technology that was either yet to be made or not visibly possible within the scientific field. Two weeks into the project, I realised that I had to come up with a more plausible goal, something that can have a proof of concept within the remaining two weeks. It made me realise how little I knew about the project I was trying to take up and the skills that I have. It hass been a learning curve, mainly for my self-awareness. Knowing more about how I tend to conceptualise and not put it into action.
Having said that, in the last two weeks, I have been really pleased with my outcome. I have been happy with the decisions I have made in the past two weeks, from asking for suggestions and not taking them as gospel to using them as guidance for where else I want to go. I feel like I found some balance between perseverance and flexibility, realising when to keep going and when to start moving towards a different direction. This is reflected on my perseverance to continue with a project that involved the Kinect sensor, something that I am intrigued by. The flexibility came in when I had to choose what the application was going to be, taking what one of the lecturers, Ricardo, had said and twisting it around to see if it can better suit me, rather than just following what he had to say.
In the end, I wish I had known my direction earlier on as it would have allowed me to explore the application in greater depth. I would have liked to continue with the idea of the clay block alternative, where a user can manipulate a block of clay with their hands digitally. This would have given me a more in-depth proof of concept, where it would be focused on improving the 3D digital interaction between computers and users.