Final Project- Flappy Shadow

Final Project

by Tong W,  Kai H

Concept & Reference

    The idea of this  project comes from our childhood memory- shadow puppet. Before we grown up and become more sophisticated to this world , we usually play with and connection meanings and objects with a more creative way. A stick can be a sword of a warrior. A shadow can be a monster hiding in the room. But most of us lose this ability of imagination. In this project, we want to waken people’s early  habit of imagination and revivify the shadow into our living environment.

    Our reference is “The Treachery of Sanctuary” from Chris Milk’s. The installation art takes viewers through three stages of flight through the use of Kinect controllers and infrared sensors. Viewers could come closer to the screen and start waving their hands. The “shadow” of their arms are transformed into two giant wings and move as viewers waving their arms and walk closer toward or further from the screen.


Design & Prototype



    In the original design, we want users can first create a real shadow with their bird gesture, which is the easiest shadow animal gesture. Then, the shadow can fly into the screen become a graphic bird which represent the imagination being vivified. At last, bird goes to the projection and live in the real environment.   

    We choose Kinect sensor, but leap motion or the combination flex sensor and accelerometer as our input sensor is owing to that it have a great range of sensing zone and intuitional experience. For the output, we use overlook viewpoint to mimic the shape of shadow. The bird image is draw by illustrator and animated by P5.js.

    The first problem we faced is the position arrangement of the flashlight, projection and the Kinect. They influence each other and the movement of users.The second problem is the control of Kinect. We spent lots of times to erase the noise when Kinect detect more than one person. At last, we originally want to use three.js to show a 3D bird in the browser but fail.


Technique & Source Code



PCom -Observation -0905

Pick a piece of interactive technology in public, used by multiple people. Write down your assumptions as to how it’s used, and describe the context in which it’s being used. Watch people use it, preferably without them knowing they’re being observed. Take notes on how they use it, what they do differently, what appear to be the difficulties, what appear to be the easiest parts. Record what takes the longest, what takes the least amount of time, and how long the whole transaction takes. Consider how the readings from Norman and Crawford reflect on what you see.

PCom -What is interaction? -0905

After this class’ discussion and exercise, and reading Chris Crawford’s definition and Bret Victor’s rant, how would you define physical interaction? What makes for good physical interaction? Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?

What’s interaction?
Interaction is ways that people “have a conversation or collaboration” with other people and artifacts which is based on the culture and the relationship. The interaction between human can be very vague and complicated which combines facial expression, language, body movement, eyesight…etc. and even doing nothing but create a atmosphere can be a kind of interaction. According to Chris Crawford, the process can be broken down into listen, consider and responds and there is no way to miss any part of this process. However, these conditions are not enough to make a judgement on if an action an interaction. Interaction is such blur and abstract that there are many action could mistakenly deemed as interaction. First is participation. Dancing with a music is a participation, because people would not have a feedback to the music itself. In contrast, dancing with wearable gadgets that makes music is interaction. The second one is reaction. An action without a thought is a reaction. Escape from a car bumping is a reaction, but if your walk forward to fight with the car driver, this part of action is interaction.

What’s interaction design
Interaction design focus on the interaction between human and digital technology. It’s about how people know the status of the machine, how people can easily manipulate a machine without lots of training and how this interaction can a be pleasure and enjoyment experience. I believe the term interaction design comes out in 1980s, as the succeed of Apple Lisa which adopts GUI and mouse, and then replaced by the new buzzword “User Experience” as the iPhone series reach a great hit on the market with its touchscreen interface. The coming out of new term doesn’t mean that interaction design is outdated, but the reason that the interaction design haven’t become a formal knowledge area. The border of interaction hasn’t been well defined. It borrows and merges many research procedures and methods from different field of study, for example the qualitative research method from sociology, the cognitive psychology, the concept of form follows function from industrial design and the information architecture from computer science…etc.

The Interaction design work on almost the same research area with the user experience design.

However, the interaction design

Interaction design is the effort to build a mask for faking computer into human being.

What’s not interaction?

As the definition of Chris Crawford, interaction

What makes for good physical interaction?

Are there works from others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?

1.Crawford, Chris. The Art of Interactive Design: A Euphonious and Illuminating Guide to Building Successful Software. No Starch Press. © 2003.

2.Author/Copyright holder: Thomas-pluralvonglas. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 3.0