Reflecting on the whole process and the finished project is a tricky process. I was quite happy with some of my earlier thinking and with the finished aesthetic of the project, but the interaction and code part I feel very disappointed with myself.
Conceptualy, this isn't really a strong finished object. There were a few ideas that I had, that had to be trimmed down to make way for a group assignment. Then again, my coding skills wouldn't have been strong enough to make the weird Mayan solar flare device I was thinking about earlier. Nifty little idea, but my processing and arduino skills just weren't up for it. I was more focused on the aesthetic decisions then I was with any real interaction design. Which is a ral shame because that was sdomwthign I should have explored some more. The idea that I semi went with was mostly about wanting to explore a minor interaction, the transference of movement from one side of the box to the other. This is fine in and of itself, but it didn't really work out. The use of a capacitive sensor doesn't really work with touch, it works best when there is near touch involved with it. This became evident when making the video. When I approached the finished object and waved my hand near it, and then touched the object. It occured to me that there should have been something more useful there. I spent too much time constructing the box, and although the box does look rather nice, and is the domestic scale object that I was hoping for, the interaction component falls very short. I'm not really sure what the purpose of the box should have been. Just a nice looking box that does X interaction isn't really a useful and satisfying conclusion. But then again, looking at the box as it sits here on my desk, it feels like something very appropriate could be made with it, but anything more than a physical If Then statement doesn't seem possible with my knowledge and skills.
Having to skype in definitely made this unit much harder to follow along with. Even though extremely generous measures were made to make me feel included (of which I'm extremely grateful for), it's the nature of long distance and the horrible mess that is Skype made it very hard going for me. On the times that I was in Canberra, things were much easier and I could follow along at the correct pace and grok what was going along. The major problem, and I've felt this for the whole course, is that there isn't enough contact hours. One class every two weeks is just not enough to be introduced to these concepts. Especially not enough to move past basic introductions to the technologies. I've always felt a chasm between what I wanted to be able to do, and the knowledge I had to be able to pursue them. But these are gripes of the course in general, not of this unit. I think more time should have been spent on the final project, and that the decision to do a group project seemed like a waste of time. The introductory lessons should have been more compressed. Yet for me to complain about this is disingenious: I didn't take the time myself to follow up on any of the other exercises, merely rushed through them and ticked them off, instead of attempting to explore the possibilities of it. But this comes down to my level of comfort with Object Oriented Programming. I can never wrap my head around how the code is to be structured, and this has deeply frustrated me from day one of this course. These are issues that I shoiuld have followed up on, practiced at.
I would really like to figure out something more worthwhile with this box. As a design object there is potential there to do something with it. Even just with the Uno I'm pretty sure I could open up the box a bit more and fit in the Uno instead of having wires poking out the end. It was a real shame not being able to have the Teensy to fit in there. This bothered me for a few reason. Having the wires needing to connect to the Uno made the polish that I went to with the box redundant. Time was wasted fiddling around with the Teensy, not spending time on the Uno meant that I had a very short time to get it all working (which I didn't even end up doing). These frustrated me because it feels unfinished, unresolved. The possibility of the project to never be eventuated.
But now that I have an Arduino Uno, a soldering iron, and a basic grasp of how it works, there is future scope for me to explore what can be done with this, even if it's just following the works of others and making minor adjustments along the way. On the other hand, I have this lovely looking box which is sitting on my desk is just begging to be played with in some other fashion, just dying to be stuffed full of interesting interaction use cases.