After the midterm presentation, it was made clear that the core of our final concept would be. The “Translation projection” concept was the one we deemed most achievable in the very short amount of time. We decided that, to get the most out of this project, it would be nice to take elements out of the final two concepts we did not use and see which we can combine with the whole. Narration with audio, AR smartphone functionality and a secondary projector were all options were considered.
With time pressing, this seemed like a good time to get our experts in for a discussion. Designer Maaike Roozenburg was finally back in the Netherlands. In some good conversations with her, Jouke and Alexandra (whom you may have read about in our earlier blogs) we decided to focus on making the set-up suited for the science fair.
We received the most positive response about the narrations, which seemed to be quickly accepted as a feasible core feature.
Especially Jouke, Maaike and Omar were quite excited about the possible use of Augmented Reality in museum exhibits. However, this has its drawbacks. Besides the obvious lack of time – just a single week to build the setup for the science fair – this would create a barrier between the user and the exhibit. This barrier consists of the physical phone or tablet blocking the view to the exhibit, as well as reducing the experience to something cheap, digital and fleeting if not done absolutely right. Finally, blocking out the group of people who don’t have a smartphone or cannot use it well (with an average age estimated between 40 and 60, that group may be larger than four young engineering students might imagine) did not seem appealing as well. However, it is the enthusiasm that could be found that made us not eliminate it completely, but have it return as a secondary objective. More on that later on.
The secondary projector was an interesting part for me personally, as I thought this was something that needed a decision. It was pointed out to me that the prototype shown at the science fair does not need to be identical to a possible version shown at the museum and it is not unlikely that a version shown at the science fair may be adapted to become the real thing in the end. This led to more of a focus on building something for the science fair and being able to distinguish the things we need to make and the things we want to make.
Rounding out this blogpost, we made the planning to build everything in a week. I will not bother you with the details, but generally, Jana would focus on making the plain tablet and the replica tablet for which she would visit Maaike’s studio to get some help, Meryam would be tasked with the video to be projected, Omar would look into the peripherals of the presentation such as the button and alignment of the objects. My job would be to have the technical back-end consistently working.
Besides this, we all had a “secondary objective” to work on should there be any time left to go beyond the basics we needed. Everyone took one objective of the following: auxiliary presentation at the science fair, facilitating seamless transitions in the software, include more recipes to be shown/translated and implementing an augmented reality demo. Can our regular readers guess who worked on what?
– Samir den Haan