AUGMENTING COLLABORATION – Wearables


The Nodders is a prototype which aims to improve CMC by providing non-verbal feedback about head gestures in addition to the audio channel.

Sensor technology, wearable device, custom PCB and software

Credits:

Jana Pejoska – Interaction design and research

Eva Durall – Design and research

Joaquin Aldunate – Software and hardware development

Merja Bauters – Project coordinator

Teemu Leinonen – Principal Investigator

DIGITAL GAMES

Tasa-arvo pelissa is a serious game essentially created to increase the understanding of equality and how equality issues are related to the services offered at the employment office. 

The mail goal that the game is striving for is to mitigate gender-based segregation in the labor market and to bring equality into employment services. In addition, it aims to strengthen the customer perspective in the development of services which are supporting employment. 

Tasa-arvo pelissa was made possible with the funds of the European Social Fund. The project was implemented by City of Vantaa, City of Espoo and Ekvalita, while the game was created by OYOs Games Oy

Narrative

The narrative of the game is closely related to the experiences that may happen in the journey of the employment seeker with the help of the employment services in Finland, particularly related to gender equality and job-market segregation. In order to understand different scenarios, in the beginning of the game the player is in the role of a customer exploring the path of an employment seeker. Later on the roles switch and the player impersonates the employment officer, having the opportunities and tools to decide the future of the employment seeker. 

Pedagogical approach

The game mechanics of the game are aligned with the ones of the Privilege Game. The player is immersed in a narrative that positions the character on a certain level in relation to other characters based on the choices that one makes. The history of the character is gradually revealed in the journey towards employment and the process of “learning through reflection” happens. The pedagogical approach draws from constructivism and phenomenological ideas of learning. 

Visual and audio communication 

Just like seeing a good theater play, where the appearance of the actors and stage design is a strong part of the experience, Tasa-arvo pelissa’s aesthetic is created to contribute to the narrative and create a particular experience. In the same way the sound effects and background music make the game a serious playground.

Technology and access 

The game is made in Unity and can be played it is browser based. It doesn’t require installing or storing files on your own device. It is free to play and accessible to anyone. Note that the language of the game is Finnish. 

For best experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge browser, even though it functions with Opera and IE as well. In some cases IE may not be sufficiently up to date to support audio in Unity. 

Credits 

Jana Pejoska – Game designer and editor-in-chief

Siliana Mitzeva – Visual communication and illustrations

Kristijan Trajkovski – Technical lead and developer

Marko Zarev – Software developer

Simon Stojanovski – Animation

Krunislav Cvetkovski – Sound design

Matti Strahlendorff – Music composer

MOBILE APPS with AR

Mushy Rooms is a unique outdoor gaming experience for children and families who want to learn how to identify the local mushrooms.

Mushy Rooms is an educating game for children 5+ years old. It provides information on various mushroom types, identification, edibility, habitat, season of growth, collecting instructions, storage preparation as well as info on the equipment necessary for mushroom hunting.

Mushrooms types are selected based on the most common edible and poisonous species in the local (Scandinavian) forest. As the game is designed for a global market, with localised content and language, the variety of mushrooms available in the game will change depending on the country.

Based on constructivist pedagogy of learning-by-doing the player learns implicitly through a fun adventure in a 3D forest built as a simulation of the local forest type. The experience replicates to an extent a real-life mushroom hunting and preparation activities.

This approach creates a playful state, where text as a medium is minimised and traditional quiz based learning is avoided. The learning is broken down to several stages that are conceptualized in different mini games.

Mushy Rooms features 4 different mini-games, organized in twelve levels/months of the (game) year , that inform about the process of gathering, identifying, preparing and labeling mushrooms, as well as an AR (augmented reality) utility which allows the user to geo-tag mushroom hotspots in the real forest and later use this tags to return to his “secret spots”.

Mushy Rooms does not feature in-app purchases whatsoever and there are no in-game ads or promotions. We don’t believe in taking advantage of children!

 

SOCIAL AUGMENTED REALITY

 

SoAR (Social Augmented Reality) is a mobile app for collaboration and communication in work environments. It consists of one-on-one video streaming with a bidirectional drawing layer for emphasizing details. SoAR is ideal for cooperating in situations that require an effective, visual assessment.

SoAR aims to

  • lower the threshold to seek and give guidance, enhance the culture of communication and mutual assistance at workplace.
  • speed up problem-solving by mitigating the effect of distance and different backgrounds and vocabularies
  • increase safety by enabling cooperation in situations that require constant presence
  • support informal workplace learning and professional development

SoAR is open source and the current prototype works on Android devices. The app has been developed in the Learning Environments research group of Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto University, in the Learning Layers project (EU, FP7).

Upcoming prototypes will explore the possibilities of mobile depth-sensors to include more accurate spatial information and measurement data to the video stream.

Credits

Jana Pejoska – Chief Designer and doctoral candidate

Sanna Reponen – Master thesis research and design

Merja Bauters – Project coordinator

Marjo Virnes – Project Coordinator

Teemu Leinonen – Principal Investigator

WEARABLES

Kinemata is a wearable device that captures the user’s body movements for the purpose of learning that movement. Becoming aware about a specific physical activity while receiving feedback about it through multiple senses can significantly increase the chances of memorizing the movements. The user can feel the motion simultaneously while performing it through the auditory, visual and tactile feedback that enable an enhanced perception of the movement itself. Kinemata can benefit various types of learners that are depending on having a specific skill in an accurate body movement: sport, dance, marshal arts, handcrafts, other kind of physical work.

There are several ways of using Kinemata.  In a most practical scenario, a teacher can show and record a movement for the learner to repeat. Another way to approach memorizing a motion sequence is by self-practice. The learner can select a movement that he/she wants to remember, record it and then begin perfecting it through repetition and feedback.

Kinemata can also be used in artistic performances, where a possible purpose of the device could be to translate a specific movement into sound, visuals or vibration. Remote visualizations are possible.

Background

Kinemata is a prototype design by Johannes Neumeier and Jana Pejoska made in the spring semester, 2015 as part of the coursework of Prototyping Experience led by Michihito Mizutani at the Media Lab at Aalto University.

Hardware

The hardware components consist of a custom designed PCB, Bluetooth connection, battery, 9 degrees of freedom sensor and 6 multicolor leds. The shell is crafted from wood and acryl using a laser cutter machine and lots of good old manual sanding.

Software

The software is work in progress and it includes recording and comparing movements, graphically visualizing the movements and giving the user feedback through the device. While the device itself can provide feedback to the user in standalone mode, the PC software is required to generate comparison feedback to recorded patterns.

Credits

Jana Pejoska – Research and Design

Johannes Neumeier – Design and Development

GROUP CONFERENCING WEB TOOL