ITP Winter Show 2018

Week 3: Project Update

Over the past few weeks I have conducted a playtest with my project and solidified the majority of the technical sides of the project.  The following is an update on the steps I have taken on this project since my last blog post.  

Figure 1 shows an updated project plan and bill of materials as of today (Monday, November 26).

Figure 2 shows some pictures from the playtest.

Overall, the results of the playtest were positive.  From the responses and observations I determined that the version of the board with two RFID scanners was more intuitive to use than the alternative.  I received good feedback on the sound quality and the visuals.  One suggestion a playtest volunteer had was to prompt the user to spell a specific word instead of prompt them to write any word.  This way the program could tell the user if they spelled the word correctly or not.  While I like this suggestion, I ultimately decided to stick with the format I currently have.  I noticed that it was very difficult for users to decode the visual language.  Thus, I do not want to complicate the instructions by prompting them to write a specific word.  In the end, if I change my mind, this feature will be relatively easy to implement later on.  Thus I will revisit this feature later on.  I found the playtest to be successful but also somewhat limiting.  The way I designed the playtest, there were some key features that were missing from the playtest that would be solved by the final design.  Thus I found that my responses to comments during the playtest was a description of how the final product will differ and solve the stated issue.  Thus, in the future I think I could do a better job of designing the playtest that more closely resembled the actions one would take while using the final product.  None the less, I felt confident in my design since most of the comments and suggestions that were made were being addressed all ready in the final product. 

Using the feedback from the playtest I continued to built the program and set up the RFID scanners.  Using this resource and this library I manipulated this example code for my own two  RFID modules.   First I set up one RFID reader (Figure 3) using this modified code.  

Figure 3

Figure 3

Using this p5.js sketch I was able to send the reader value and the unique chip ID from the Arduino to a p5 sketch.  From here I began to work on the user interface using p5.js.  First I developed a program that would take user input from the keyboard to write a word and display it in my visual language.  Then when you press the down key (aka the submit button) the word you wrote would be displayed along with previous user inputs (Figure 4).

Figure 4

Once I completed this interface I decided to change the submit display to only show the visual language.  Figure 5 shows a video of the second version of this interface.

Figure 5

Once this interface was complete I connected two RFID scanners (Figure 6) and combined the serial communication code with the interface code.

Figure 6

Figure 6

I also added the sound library to the interface code so that when a letter was scanned on the “learn” reader, the letter sound would play.  Here are the Arduino and the p5.js codes for this stage.  Since I currently have only 23 tags, I only have the letters A-V set up.  Figure 7 shows a video of these components working together. 

Figure 7

At this stage, I have most of the electronics working successfully.  Next, I will add the clear and submit buttons to the computation and physical sides of the project.  After that I will begin fabricating the coins and enclosure for the project.  At this stage I feel I am making good progress.  I have given myself enough time to complete the fabrication side while still having time to make adjustments as they are necessary.

Eva PhilipsComment