Thursday, March 5, 2009

Phototropic Memories: 2nd prototype


Ciao! I've been working on the second version of the prototype of the Phototropic Memories interface, this time both the Capturer and the Attractor have been realized.

The material of choice is cardboard as it enabled me to work quickly and still have a sturdy enough object as a result.

The building phase was carefully planned ahead using this schematics:

Here are some pictures about the process:

Attractor building

Phototropic Memories - Attractor second prototype from Claudio Midolo on Vimeo.

Phototropic Memories - Attractor second prototype 2 from Claudio Midolo on Vimeo.

The second version of the Attractor prototype is much smaller compared to the previous version
(150mm x 130mm x 130mm) vs (180mm x 180mm x 180mm) thus is lighter and better to handle.

Attractor 1st prototype vs 2nd one

The exterior aesthetic is still in embryonic form just for testing purposes, the next version of the prototype will include a more refined skin, probably inspired by old school Kodak Brownie cameras.

Capturer building

The Capturer half proved to be successful too, it is quite small (110mm x 110mm x 150mm) and the opening/closing mechanism seems to provide a satisfactory "grabbing" feeling.
Again, this is for testing only, the actual look of the Capturer half will match that of the other half, the Attractor.


I user tested the prototypes and I received very insightful feedback related to the way the Attractor was showing the image: "it has a screen inside and it looks like a screen too! it kills the magic of the image you want to communicate."

That made me think about the actual feeling I want to achieve with the image in the Attracgtor and I decided to experiment a little more
with the visual possibilities of the interface. The Attractor is going to contain a very very small projector and playing with it and a very thin sheet of paper I witnessed a beautiful phenomenon which I would like to recreate in some way inside the Attractor, as it makes the cold "screen" feeling I was describing before vanish and imbuing the image with magic, making it less flat and more living, almost breathing.

Phototropic Memories: projecting surface experiment from Claudio Midolo on Vimeo.


As a consequence I'm going to change my plans for the implementation of the Attractor, which won't contain both a small lcd screen and a projector, but just the latter one. The Attractor will work in two playback modes:

divided - when the Attractor is not physically joined with the Capturer, typically just one person will look at the image through the front lens.

unity - when the Attractor is physically joined with the other half of the device. Typically the image will be enjoyed by two or more people.

In the first playback mode the projector will be facing the front of the device, the user will look through the front lens and see the image of the shared memory projected inside the box, onto a series of strips of very thin paper.

In the second playback
mode the projector will rotate facing up this time, projecting outside the box so that two or more users will enjoy the memories together.

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