Merging Virtual and Physical

UX design doesn't have to stay on screen. It can connect the digital world to physical actions or objects. I worked on this project with a team of four other people for a 48-hour Maker Day event at Amplify. Our goal was to create an interactive video wall that people could use for, weather, games, or navigation within the office.

We used a standard projector on a dark gray wall for output and an Xbox Kinect for input. We didn't expect to be able to create a fully functional interactive tool in 48-hours, but we wanted to give people an idea of the possibilities with this sort of system, and to give a feel for what it might be like to engage with a virtual assistant like Dash.

The primary challenges that we faced, apart from lack of time, were with projecting on a dark surface, and working with a relatively imprecise input method. To combat the dark surface, we tried to use large blocks of bright colors. We did a number of color tests just to see what would show up best in different lighting environments.

Because of the imprecision of the Microsoft Kinect we used animations so that users could tell when their actions were recognized, and we created a design that compels users to make large gestures that the system can recognize.