The Wits Digital Arts Interactive Media Masters class, lecturered by Anton Coetze, Tegan Bristow & Christo Doherty, were given the task to develop and install a working networked object or sensor based networked system.
This was to be done in consultation with a "client" of a local shop or publically used environment – where the project would be installed and run.
Each project found new ideas to explore and interesting solutions to certain problems, and interacting with a "client", allowed for growth in the understanding of how to handle work situations and relationships. Providing a new way to approach proposals, a more intense explanation of the proposal or project, and working within the boundries (budget, needs, desires, aesthetics) of an outside source.
The students presented the prototypes of their projects on 22 Sept in the Electronics Lab at Wits Digital Arts.
Photograph by: Christo Doherty
"The Blind PiG Membership Program"
The project was created with the intention of increasing the customer traffic at the Wits Postgraduate Club by expanding on their current Membership program. The program was designed to work with an RFID scanner and make use of the RFID already incorporated within member's student cards. For prototype purposes I have used RFID tags which work on the same system. Students are required to present their membership sticker when placing an order. The new system simply requires the PiG workers to scan the card before the order. A tweet is then sent with a message to the PiG's wall stating something like: "Christopher Stead is at the PiG." The message will be the same for each member aside from the name changing. Now anyone who follows the PiG's twitter page will get this message, hopefully encouraging others to join the member if they are his/her friends and order something for themselves.
"Flex Sensors for Performance Artist"
My aim was to create an interactive performance costume using flex sensors. Since flex sensors are often used to control audio output in performances I wanted to vary this a bit.
So for my project flex sensors were used to produce an output which was graphed visually using Processing Programming language. For information to be transmitted and received wirelessly; Xbee radio modules allow for freedom of movement.
Jans de Jager
This project uses a simple television monitor to display textual information retrieved from a hosted location. In this instance, the monitor would scrape a certain webpage to recieve & display information about the current weather. This could be expanded to sport, news, bus routes or times etc. adding a user interface via a Joystick. An Arduino UNO development board and Ethernet shield is used. This is a cost effective easy way to provide information to those without the finance or the technology to access the information themselves.
Photograph by: Christo Doherty
"The James Kitching Gallery: Wireless Network project: Now and Then."
The installation is linked to the physical activation of the James Kitching Gallery and serves simultaneously as a marketing activation tool.When visitors turn the switch on the display case called 'Now and Then' in the gallery, they affect an images on a free standing HTML web page. With every interaction a piece of a photograph appears in squire format, resulting in a full image of a dinosaur on the html page
Carly Whitaker, Lisa Van Vliet & Alexandra Jones
"Guillotine and Social Media"
For this project we created a three phased interactive system which will facilitate marketing and brand development for the clothing brand Guillotine, designed by Lisa Jaffe.
As a group our concept lay at the basis that social networking can be used as an effective marketing technique. I am interested in the possibility that Social Networks can create relationships between Brands and consumers, and draw people to have an emotional connection with the Brand.
Phase One: (Mainly Lisa Van Vliet)
Wanting to take a "green" approach to this project, Lisa noticed that most shops keep all their lights on, all of the time. So, in order to be more conscious to make a "green" effort, an Infrared sensor, that senses human presence, would trigger the shop lights to come on, in a delayed sequence, to display shop garments. Lights also display a QR code, which when scanned leads the participant to the Guillotine Facebook Page.
Phase Two: (Mainly Carly Whitaker)
This phase of the system uses a QR Code to link the user or passerby to the Facebook Fan Page for Guillotine. Once on the page, the customer is enticed to press 'like', once liking a physical action corresponds to this digital action. There is a concept garment in the store window which with specifically designed mechanism, enables the top to move transforming and revealing a new garment underneath.
Phase Three: (Mainly Alexandra Jones)
A question box is to be present in the change room of Guillotine's new shop. This question box has a seasonal question, that may be answered by the individual participant by pressing the button that the participant feels is their personal answer.The respective answer posts on Twitter, with how many people have answered in the same manner. This will be linked to the Guillotine Facebook Page & upcoming Guillotine Website. Connecting and engaging existing customers.