Demo Hour

XX.4 July + August 2013
Page: 8
Digital Citation

Damien Ludi, Colin Peillex, Daan Spanjers, Andrew Cross, Ed Cutrell, Bill Thies, Mickael Boulay

ECAL Low-Tech Factory

back to top  Low-tech factory: rocking-knit

At Langenthal (Switzerland), factories are omnipresent. The designers experimented with simple and ingenious shaping methods such as molding, thermoforming, and knitting to obtain finished products. "Low-Tech Factory" tackles the subject of automatic production beloved by designers, bringing together six entertaining machines that throughout the exhibition produce mirrors, hats, sacks, toys, lamps, and even popcorn! One of the projects, Rocking-Knit, is a new interpretation of the rocking chair. It offers its user productive moments of relaxation. The to-and-fro movement of this armchair knits hats for the winter and requires no exertion whatsoever.

Project website: Video:

Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex | ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne | [email protected]


back to top  Conductive

I designed a table with light objects that can be placed on the surface. They obtain their energy from the table's conductive copper lines. The pattern changes throughout the surface, representing the table's use in different situations. When using the table during dinner, the objects can be placed near the center of the table, where the light turns calm and soft. Placing a lamp closer to you while working increases the amount of light created. Following the lines on the table's surface with the objects, you notice these lines indicate the intensity and function of the light.

Project website:

Daan Spanjers | Studio Daan Spanjers | [email protected]


back to top  qCards

qCards are an inexpensive way to engage large audiences through interactive polling. When asked a multiple-choice question, audience members raise their qCards, sheets of paper with a unique identifier on the front, in one of four possible orientations corresponding to A, B, C, or D written on the back. Using computer vision, a camera recognizes each qCard ID and multiple-choice response and aggregates the poll results for the presenter to review or display.

qCards debuted at the 2012 ACM User Interface Software and Technology conference polling roughly 300 people, capturing 90 percent of responses and with 98 percent accuracy.

Project website:


Publication: Cross, A., Cutrell, E., and Thies, W. Low-cost audience polling using computer vision. Proc. of the 25th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. ACM, New York 2012, 45–54.

Andrew Cross | Microsoft Research India | [email protected]

Ed Cutrell | Microsoft Research India | [email protected]

Bill Thies | Microsoft Research India | [email protected]


back to top  Measuring Less to Feel More

Tools are supposed to help us. And yet, as I discovered, that is not always the case. Field research revealed the instrument used by patients with type 2 diabetes to measure blood sugar levels adds stress to the procedure. Stress, in fact, releases more sugar into the bloodstream, creating a vicious circle.

There is too much focus on precise numbers instead of on meaning.

This new device is more intuitive, subtle, and visual. Instead of displaying numerical values, the position of an LED light reveals simply whether the blood sugar level is high, low, or balanced.

Project website:


Mickael Boulay (in collaboration with Waag Society) | [email protected]


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©2013 ACM  1072-5220/13/07  $15.00

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