Our final idea is based on our midterm project:
Instead of just using virtual water, we added real water into out project, exploring the line between the virtual world and reality. And because of that we are going to use real water, we cannot use monitor. As a result, we decided to use projection and we will project the virtual water onto a screen which is a piece of acrylic sheet.
We designed using a real water valve and a real water flush lever to control virtual water; when the virtual water line reach to the top of screen, there are real water spill out of the line, which could enhance users’ experience to give them a sense of blurring virtual water and real water.
When real water start spilling, we figured that most users would intuitively touch real water (which is proved by user test afterwards), thus we designed another interaction.
After a bunch of options, we decided to use that when users have fingers on the screen, they can draw patterns made of ellipses where their fingers are, and because of the existence of real water, it looks like real water are washing the whole screen, so we designed virtual patterns will act like they are washed away. Therefore we give users a sense of real water washing virtual patterns.
This is user flow:
As to how to capture fingers’ position, we end up using leap motion and we set a default depth value which leap motion won’t work if the distance between fingers and screen bigger than the default value.
Leap motion works well, and next is to do some user test. We quickly build up the basic functional parts and test projection. We tried several different projector, and this one works perfect to our project.
We roughly build up the whole system:
And we did some user tests:
We are glad people are basically all satisfied with the interaction with virtual/real water. And we will cover the top parts which means people won’t know there will be real water spills.
After user test, we started fabrication. We redesigned the whole interface depending on some suggestions we got from users test:
We cut wood using CNC:
Cause we are using the real water, we thought a lot about how to design the whole system not leaking water. We use waterproof spray, applying it on our wood, and we are going to use silicone to seal the whole box and woods joints.
After treated wood, we paint wood black, and next step is to assemble the whole thing!
It’s on Winter Show!
I’m glad that people love it, and the surprised face when people touch the real water is very satisfying to me. A couple of users just don’t wanna stop, they said they can play with it all day!