Demo Hour

XXI.6 November-December 2014
Page: 8
Digital Citation

Joanna Dauner, Emre Karagozler, Matthew Glisson, Chris Speed, Mark Hartswood, Eric Laurier, Siobhan Magee, Fionn Tynan-O'Mahony, Martin de Jode, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Jiffer Harriman, Anna Feit, Antti Oulasvirta

1. Electric Flora

Electric Flora is an installation that creates interactivity by harvesting electrostatic energy from the human body to generate light choreographies. The user produces electrical charge with the friction of their feet on the floor. Wearing Teflon shoes amplifies the charge. Every time the user gets in contact with a single electric plant (an acrylic tube with embedded LEDs), the electrical charge from the body activates the lights. In this way we generate interactivity without using any power sources other than the human body.

Dauner, J., Glisson, M., Karagozler, M., Electric Flora: An interactive energy harvesting installation. Proc. of the 2014 Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, New York, 2014, 125–128.

Joanna Maria Dauner, University of Arts, Berlin

Emre Karagozler, Disney Research, Pittsburgh

Matthew Glisson, Disney Research, Pittsburgh


2. The Haggle-O-Tron

Secondhand retail in the U.K. charity sector plays a number of important social and economic roles: Charity shops are community focal points; money is generated for good causes; and goods are recirculated that might otherwise be discarded. However, like much of the U.K.‘s retail shops, the prosperity of charity shops is under significant threat from the rise of Internet shopping. Access to online markets via smartphones equips customers to check prices for secondhand items; some customers then use that information to haggle with shop staff. The Haggle-O-Tron is an interactive kettle placed in an Oxfam secondhand shop that playfully subverts both normative and emerging secondhand retail valuation practices by revealing secondhand goods’ financial, moral, social, and aesthetic properties.

Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh

Mark Hartswood, University of Edinburgh

Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh

Siobhan Magee, University of Edinburgh

Fionn Tynan-O’Mahony, University of Edinburgh

Martin de Jode, University College London

Andrew Hudson-Smith, University College London

Speed C., Hartswood, M., Laurier, E., Magee, S., de Jode, M., and Hudson-Smith, A. The Haggle-O-Tron: Design intervention in secondhand retail. Proc. of the 2014 Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, New York, 2014, 137–140.

ins02.gif An interactive kettle mimics the negotiation process between a vendor and a customer.

3. Modular-Muse

Modular-Muse is a hardware and software toolkit for music. It is an exploration of design tools between off-the-shelf interfaces and digital-audio workstation (DAW) environments and common maker tools. It features input modules for interface design and output modules for physical sound actuation and controlling lights, as well as a software library to streamline sound design and hardware interaction. By offering an accessible and transparent platform that enables exploration in a creative context, Modular-Muse is a powerful tool for engaging users in higher levels of design thinking and offers a new context in which to explore electronics and programming.


Harriman, J. Modular-Mus: Toward an interaction design toolkit for music. Proc. of the 2014 Companion Publication on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, New York, 2014, 141–144.

Jiffer Harriman, University of Colorado

ins03.gif The Modular-Muse interface board shown with connected I/O.

4. PianoText

In our search for faster text-entry systems, we were inspired by the high keying rates of skilled pianists, which are more than twice as fast as typists. We developed PianoText, which allows text entry on any MIDI-enabled piano keyboard. A computationally designed mapping assigns letter sequences of English to frequent note transitions in music, based on four concepts: redundancy, chords, sound feedback, and skill transfer. Our studies show text-entry rates of over 80 wpm and we estimate expert performance rates of 130-160 wpm. Our findings on those studies will inform the design of faster text-entry systems.

Feit, A., Oulasvirta, A. PianoText: Redesigning the piano keyboard for text entry. Proc. of the ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, New York, 2014, 1045–1054.

Feit, A. and Oulasvirta, A. PianoText: Transferring musical expertise to text entry. Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, 2013, 3043–3046.

Anna Maria Feit, Max-Planck Institute for Informatics and Saarland University

Antti Oulasvirta, Aalto University

ins04.gif PianoText (here shown in a portable form factor) allows text entry on any MIDI-capable piano.

©2014 ACM  1072-5220/14/11  $15.00

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