Fun with Electronics

In September this year, Prashant asked me to co-teach "Fun with electronics" at MIT Splash. It was great fun milling and soldering the boards for the hardware kit that we distributed in class. We taught two 3-hour sessions on Nov 23 and 24, 2013 and had 19 highschoolers participate over the two days. Here are some photos of the hardware building blocks we made for them. The kit photo is missing the 9V battery that powers the components.

Spellbound: Mobile, social, activity-based play

A game can provide the venue for a range of social interactions through competition, cooperation, and negotiation. In the design of Spellbound, we consider the importance of social interaction between players on both teams and the role of spectators. We are inspired by Bernard DeKoven who suggests by exploring how we play together we can get to know ourselves and each other better. Play theorist Brian Sutton-Smith (1997) also identifies community and play as "forms of bonding'' where camaraderie and togetherness are central to the experience. Besides encouraging social connection, we believe togetherness and playfulness can transform physical activity into an enjoyable experience. 

Laser etching chocolate

I used a bar of 87% dark chocolate: Dagoba Eclipse. Text on image above mistakenly says 86% dark.

I wanted to make a birthday present for a friend and wanted to make something edible.  I love dark chocolate and always have some on me so figured I could try laser etching a bar. The first attempt is pictured above and I plan on trying it again with different settings on the laser and using a vector image that has more contrast between different parts to get a result that shows more detail. Epilog raster settings: 400dpi, 12% power, 100% speed.


Full comic

Spotz is an Android app that recommends things to you based on 'buzz' created by others for those things for e.g. you could follow #bestchocolatecake and the app will show you what places have been tagged with that buzz. Similarly you can follow places that have specific tags of interest to you for e.g. you could follow #healthy or #geeky and the app will show you what places near you have #healthy or #geeky as their most popular tag. The app playfully generates a persona visualization for you to share on social media based on the most popular tags for the places you visit. This also allows you to friend and/or follow others with similar personas as you to explore and discover places of mutual interest :)

My profile shows my location-based persona. If I scroll down, my profile screen also shows a list of recommended places nearby based on my bubbles.

Festival of Learning 2013

Cupcake Andrea and I made and decorated but did not get to eat. 

I ran a session with Danielle at the second Media Lab Festival of Learning (2013) to show people how to make microwave cupcakes and decorate them with fondant and icing. It was frantic with just one microwave since a lot of people wanted to make cupcakes but what fun Regardless.  Festival pics .