Traces of Touch

serendipity into the oblivion

Framework

leave a comment »

For my project I have been looking around for a framework to evaluate the physical interactions. This was a task that was harder than expected but after a while of searching I have found “The Tangible Interaction Framework” from Eva Hornecker. It is a framework that takes into account the softer sides of physical interactions and also trying to create some values to evaluate them with. It isn’t as quantifiable as for example material properties evaluation seen at Materia but since we are dealing with much softer values I dont think it is possible to do it. I will await my response on this matter from Bill Verplank and some other people I have been in contact with before deciding but this look like a good candidate so far.

Written by sjunnesson

August 11, 2010 at 14:55

Posted in Inspiration, Notes

Tagged with

Leaving traces

leave a comment »

Written by sjunnesson

August 11, 2010 at 14:39

Posted in prototyping

Tagged with , , ,

Touch tests

with one comment

Today I have been testing my newly acquired QT1106 touch sensor. I decided to buy it from Rachels Electronics which turned out be a very good experience. Some times this very small shops has this extra nice customer service and this time I managed to get a special shipping option that fitted my needs and perfect packaging and of course a very good IC.

I decided to just connect the IC by itself and some leds as output together with the arduino terminal and after some thinkering with the code to get the calibration correct and to set it up in “wheel mode” I had a  nice test bench. The QT1106 has some nice features that it can  modify its resolution between 4 steps to 256 steps so I decided to implement some of those functions together with an autocalibration to get it working nicely and to faster iterate. Below you can see my steps I took putting it together and a small video of it working and you can also download the arduino code here.

Written by sjunnesson

July 29, 2010 at 22:57

Posted in prototyping

Tagged with , ,

Instructables

leave a comment »

The instructable I wrote yesterday has been selected as featured by Instructable and now resides on the frontpage and also earned me a 3 month PRO account for free. A nice touch and good motivation to keep posting instructables and motivate the extra 3-4 hours it takes to document the process and post it online. Also shows that there is an interest in what Im doing seeing it has ~600 views the first 12 hours.

Written by sjunnesson

July 21, 2010 at 13:20

Eagle second day

with 2 comments

Today has been the continuation of the work that started yesterday. I have constructed two boards, the FM radio and the test pattern.

The outcome of the test pattern is that it is pretty okay to use traces down to about 0.4mm (15 mil) but below that it becomes a bit to small for the laser. It is preferable as always to use a bit thicker traces if possible but now I have a good understanding what is doable and what I can work with. The power I used in the laser to cut away the paint was to choose granite in the material selection and then add 50% power to the engrave. This gave me a bit long engraving time (time to cut away the paint) but it also gave me a better and more clearer result. The FM radio shield which is 57×46 mm took 13 minutes and the test pattern which is 55x49mm took 10min 30 sec which gives you a rough estimate of the time.

For the FM radio shield I constructed an Instructable which can be found here.  I had to move the headphone jack a couple of mm so that it didnt collide with the Atmega or the ICSP header on the Arduino but otherwise it sounds good. Might want to add an amplifier to be able to use it in the radio.

Written by sjunnesson

July 20, 2010 at 20:42

Posted in prototyping

Tagged with , , ,

A day of eagle

leave a comment »

So today has been prep day for the continuation of testing and developing a couple of circuits to test user behavior with. Today the focus has been to create a small FM radio shield for the arduino with an AR1010 FM module, a small LiPo battery charger to charge over either USB or walwart using the MAX1555 IC (yes u can buy them but Im on a tight budget and this is more fun) and I have also built a very simple test to get a good idea on the precision of the process Im using with the laser cutter so that I know how small traces I can use in my more final designs. All three explorations can be found below both in png format that will be used tomorrow for the laser and the eagle files ready for modification. Hopefully I will be able to report in tomorrow if the designs work or not. The idea is to generate a couple of Instructables in the end to give back knowledge to the community and build upon my ideas on sustainability.

FM radio shield

LiPo charger

Laser test

Written by sjunnesson

July 20, 2010 at 00:14

Posted in prototyping

Tagged with ,

Sustainability in tangible products

leave a comment »

Today the word sustainability is used very often in many different settings. We have sustainable food, cleaning, heating, travelling and I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon see sustainable gasoline being sold at the local gas station. This over use, in my eyes, of the word sustainable dilutes the value and makes it hard for the end user to really know what it means and what it entitles. Is locally grown food more sustainable than ecological food grown 1000 of miles away? Is using recycled aluminium better than freshly harvested wood? There is so many levels of complexity with naming an object sustainable that I feel I need to explain and define what I mean when I’m talking about it. The below list shouldnt be seen as the all knowing truth but more as what guidelines Im working with in my project currently. Different kind of products has different kind of need and the points below need to be adapted and evolved correspondingly.

Sustainable:

  • Use of material that leaves the lowest energy footprint, this means taking into account that some material have a longer working life than others and might be better fitting than lower energy footprint material. Think over an 20 years perspective instead of 6 months.
  • Low energy consumption taking the full life cycle of the product into account not just the production or the use but also the transports and the recycling of the materials.
  • Encourage and support strong and evolving emotional connections between the users and the object. This is to maintain the stories being developed over time and to maintain a longer interest from the user avoiding an to early trip to the landfill.
  • Create objects than can and wants to be expanded, modified, combined and hacked so that the users can evolve and personalize the object if they so desire.

Written by sjunnesson

July 18, 2010 at 19:49

Posted in Thoughts

Tagged with