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prototyping

Playing with Python and Freenect

Since I'm still on winter break, I took the better part of today to mess around with my new (well, secondhand) Kinect. I used the excellent freenect library and its Python bindings to whip up this simple little demo.

There's a lot here that is very similar to how we work in SMALLab, especially how we deal with a "buttonless" interface. Using the Z-axis (forward and back on the Kinect, up and down in SMALLab) makes for a pretty nice way of changing from active to inactive state.

I'm looking forward to playing with this some more in the future. It's not the most response system in the world, but I can see simple and casual uses for this kind of interaction in schools, public displays, etc.

Jetpack for Learning: Reflecting Pool

The internet is a potentially powerful tool for enhancing learning environments. However, the unstructured nature of it can present a challenge to both students and teachers. For example, students may lack the ability to pursue a learning goal strategically and therefore find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of information at their fingertips and wandering aimlessly. Teachers, on the other hand, may be at a loss of how to assess students' learning in such a setting and unable to understand the connections that students' are making.

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Reflecting Pool (see attached interactive PDF) aims to improve internet-based activities for students by increasing metacognitive awareness (i.e., planning, monitoring, and control of thinking) and for teachers by giving them greater access to the thought processes of their students. Furthermore, it offers a unique opportunity for all to understand and explore the collective knowledge of the class.

Wakatta! Lightpen prototyping

Here we see MFADT student Simeon Poulin playing with the whiteboard we cooked up for the first Wakatta test charrette.

3D Buttons and Sliders

Here is a quick video explanation of the HitArea and DragArea render engines.

The engines can track when a pointer enters and leaves them, and the DragArea engine also reports back the pointer's relative position--handy for sliders, etc.

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Copyright Mike Edwards 2006-2009. All content available under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, unless otherwise noted.

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