Technology Is Not So Scary

Forget the Silver Generation being weary of the onslaught of technology; people my age are sometimes stumped by it too. With manufacturers churning out futuristic, beyond imagination stuff; coping up with the functions and features on gizmos… Enter Space Jam (not the movie!), a multi-user shared environment that makes communication between the tech-savvy and the not-so-savvy, easy. The setup actually just includes a camera sensor and a projector, the rest is just more technology conjured up by the designers.

Understanding Space Jam:

  • Everyday objects, such as a sticky note and a picture frame, act as input devices for the virtual world while the digital information is blended into the real environment through the projector and the camera.
  • People, who have little knowledge about computer, not only can communicate with their family members through digital technologies, but also share their life with friends on the social networking sites. Friends and family can send the messages or photos with their favorite digital devices. Using the projector, the messages and photos can be displayed on the wall.
  • They can leave a message to their family members by writing a physical sticky note, placing it on the wall and adding a tag, which indicates the person to whom this message is sent. The camera captures the content on the physical note, identifies the receiver, and the assigned date. Image recognition method is used to recognize the note from the wall image and cut the note image. The note image is then sent through Internet or MMS to the designated person on the assigned day.
  • They can also browse digital photos by hanging a physical picture frame on the wall, just like the way they have been doing for years. They can hang a set of the photos by placing a pair of tags in a diagonal position on the wall. The photo slideshow is then displayed by the projector according to the position of these two tags. The tag on the top indicates the photo album they choose, while the tag on the bottom functions as the control button which is used to play, pause and resize the photo slideshow. A combination of recognition technology and multimedia software will handle photo browsing. The recognition module detects the triggered start/stop events of the photo browsing and notifies the multimedia software to operate the photo display.

The project was funded by INSIGHT center in Taiwan.
And the project leaders are Hsien-Hui Tang (design) and Wen-Jong Wu (IT)

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Space Jam - Non-PC User Interface For Inter-generational Communication by Hsien-Hui Tang & Wen-Jong Wu