Category Archives: thesis

First solid prototype

I made a post about different fabrics that I tried for my prototype. I have decided on using “stretch conductive fabric”. Reasons why I chose it are, my first simple test for galvanic skin response with ”stretch conductive fabric” gave good results, also it is description says that it is a really good conductive material and good for electrodes.

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So, I attached two pieces of fabric on a wristband, and I used a lilypad and 300k as resistor.

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And this is another image to show how my data represented for now, and how it changes…
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Here are 2 videos from my prototype. One with using fingers, one with using wrist. I was taking rapid breaths while I am experimenting to see the change in graph. When I take rapid breaths graph goes up, when ever I give all of my breath out, graph goes down.

emotional cartography

Yesterday, I found this project. It is very cool and very close to my idea. I didn’t have chance to read the book yet. However, if you are interested in, here some brief explanations and links to them

http://emotionalcartography.net/
“Emotional Cartography is a collection of essays from artists,
designers, psychogeographers,
cultural researchers, futurologists and neuroscientists, brought
together by Christian Nold, to
explore the political, social and cultural implications of visualising
intimate biometric data and
emotional experiences using technology.”

And this is the link for the same project that maps feeling on the
geographical maps of the cities.
http://www.biomapping.net/
“Bio Mapping is revolutionary methodology and tool for visualising
people’s reactions to the external world.
When we become aware of our own and each others unique body reactions
to the environment we can create a better world!”

Q&A

I have presented my thesis idea few times. There were some questions that I got from my audience. Here are my answers to make them clear.

I will be measuring changes in body during the day, and I will be correlating this with emotional changes.  I can not estimate exact emotion, but I can say, calm, normal, anxious/stresses/anger/happy(these four are almost the same data, because Galvanic Skin Response shows change in your bodies resistance according to amount of sweating)

Problem

I realized, there are sometimes that I cannot control changes in my emotions and loose my temper. After realizing this, I start controlling myself. Whenever I realize there is a change in my emotion, I try to calm down and thing about it again. This helps me to realize if I am doing something wrong or right. So, as a start I see this thing as a screen for myself to realize my feelings and control them. As a start, I am doing this project for myself.

Later on I have different ideas to implement by using the same idea. For example, knowing what effects me in New York, or a driver feelings screen or a genre visualizer.

Sensors

I will be using galvanic skin response to see reactions of your body. You can figure out emotional changes by looking at to resistance between two points on the body. This is effected by the level of sweating.

Also, I want to use heart rate monitor, because seeing changes in the heart rate might be useful or, it might help me to figure out if the changes in galvanic skin response is because of a physical activity.

I will not be using EEG, because EEG interferes with galvanic skin response and even a little movement can effect EEG data. I am designing this product for people to wear in their daily life. So, they will be moving.

Display

I will be using some sort of abstract shapes. Using hight or graphical elements doesn’t seem so well. I am sensing if there is any change in the emotions, not exactly what you are feeling, and also cumulative data. So, using color code seems easy and meaningful for now. Or another option can be using abstract shapes like, if shape has sharp edges that means danger etc.

Private/public

If you don’t want to make this data public (let’s say you are in a grocery store), you can turn it off or unattached the screen. Another option might be having a headphone system, so, you can hear it but people cannot. So, you will be still aware of it and have a chance to change it.

Other possible scenarios

Maybe, some sort of screen for traffic. This can be for personal awareness or for public awareness.

Mapping emotional changes during a movie and instead of calling a genre for the movie calling something related to graphics or colors.

Why not EEG?

According to wikipedia, Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain. Basically, for EEG, you are looking for electrical activity of your brain by using electrodes. Brainwaves have very low frequency. There are some good projects for EEG like “Open  EEG” or “Emotive”. However, I don’t know how easy and reliable it is.

Also, even a simple eye blinking is interfering with EEG values, for my project, I will be tracking people who are moving. So, there will a lot of inference.

I was talking with another ITP student (Neil Hickey),  he worked on EEG before for his undergrad. I mentioned him that I will be using galvanic skin response with EEG. He mentioned that, galvanic skin response (GSR) would interfere with EEG also.

As a result, I will not be using EEG for my thesis, because my audience will be moving and I will be using GSR which are interfering with EEG.

Here are some images from my prototype that I made earlier..

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Galvanic Skin Response

I made some test by using different fabrics for galvanic skin response. Che-Wei Wang has a really good processing sketch and blog post about how to use galvanic skin response with Arduino. So, I used his sketch to test my fabrics.

I am not sure about meanings of results yet, but for now, I am posting my screen shots and names of the fabrics.

RadioScreen

RadioScreen

Canopy Mesh Fabric

Canopy Mesh Fabric

Ex-Static Conductive Fabric

Ex-Static Conductive Fabric

ESD Static Fabric

ESD Static Fabric

Staticot

Staticot

NaturaShiled Fabric

NaturaShiled Fabric

VeilShield

VeilShield

CobalText

CobalText

Stainless Steel Mesh Shielding Fabric

Stainless Steel Mesh Shielding Fabric

Shieldit Super

Shieldit Super

High Performance Silver Mesh Fabric

High Performance Silver Mesh Fabric

AL100 Wall Shield

AL100 Wall Shield

Pure Copper Polyester Taffeta Fabric

Pure Copper Polyester Taffeta Fabric


ArgenMesh

ArgenMesh


Soft&Safe Shielding Fabric

Soft&Safe Shielding Fabric

Stretch Conductive Fabric

Stretch Conductive Fabric

Textronics Wristband (both on same wrist)

Textronics Wristband (both on same wrist)

Textronics Wrist Band (on different wrists)

Textronics Wrist Band (on different wrists)

And these are the pictures from my setup:
setup
This picture shows conductive stretch fabric on my fingers and Arduino for getting inputs from my fabrics
setup-2
This picture shows two Textronics wrist band on my right wrist.

iCalm, MIT Media Labs

On Thursday, I saw a tweet from MIT Media Labs with a link to iCalm. When I watched it, I realized it is very similar to my idea. However it is not exactly the same. Actually, it made me happy, cause I realize that this thing could become important in the near future.
Here is the link for iCalm : http://www.media.mit.edu/news/videos/2010/02/labcast-46-icalm

There is a video on the link. It seems a little fake now, but promising.

This project is also changing my ideas about my sensors. They are using galvanic skin response, and that totally make sense to me. Also, I am realizing how hard it is to get some good data from EEG and give it a meaning.

Feedbacks from class and mood tagging

Today we discussed about our ideas during the class. We red each others concept description papers and try to explain it to class and draw an image of it. Lee-Sean worked on my paper. His image was very clear and similar to my idea. He gave good inputs like, I have to tell that I am doing a hoodie in the beginning and also he described my images on hoodie as “abstract”

This week I received all my orders. I have a lot of fabrics that I need to test. But more exciting than that, I received my Textronics development kit. Kit includes small fabrics that has fabric electrodes on them. Looks very promising. I guess that will be the base of my thesis project.

Also I will be adding a audio jack to hat that I made for electrodes. Tom Igoe gave me that idea. It looks like my circuit is ok but maybe my signal processing might have issues. So he told me try to use audio input.

Also after talking with Tom Igoe, I decided to make a simple IProcessing sketch that can log my mood with time stamps. However, I couldn’t find any samples of IProcessing – database connection (they just released the IProcessing, so thats normal). However I just made a simple HTML-PHP and text file connection so I can log my mood data with time, and location very easily on my IPhone. picture-23

This is how my log file looks like. It seems pretty simple and good enough for my approach.

Things that I ordered this week for thesis

I have been playing with my zeo (www.myzeo.com), conductive threads and electrodes. This week I ordered few new toys to play.
My first toy is a development kit for electrodes.picture-15

I am very curious about this kit. It seems really promising. Adidas just bought the company which develops them, but they are still selling their kit through Adidas. I hope I will get it soon.

Silver Mesh Fabric

When you need the conductivity and shielding performance of Silver with the strength of Nylon, ArgenMesh is the material to choose. At >60 dB from 10 MHz to 40 GHz and surface conductivity of <0.5 Ohm per square this material is great for high level grounding, static discharge, electric field shielding, and radiofrequency shielding. Safe for skin contact, it can be used in garments, or bedding. Also an excellent curtain or wall covering. 55% Silver, 45% Nylon. Silver color, some light penetration. 59 inch wide. (http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html)

I also ordered fabric sample kit from the same company. Here is the information about the kit:

ABRIC SAMPLE SET

“Get Samples of All Our Fabrics”

Can’t decide which fabric is right for your application? Want to see, feel, and test the fabrics before you decide? In this kit you get swatches of each fabric, along with specification sheets. Hook & Loop and Microwave Absorber not included in standard sampler, so if you need these, be sure to specify. (http://www.lessemf.com/fabric.html)

I hope, I can receive them until next Monday. Until I receive them, I will be playing with my hat prototype with normal electrodes.

Personal Statement

I have been working on different types of gesture based interaction for a while. I tried cameras, buttons, range finders, bending angles etc. After having carpal tunnel syndrome on my right hand, I start reading a lot about gestural interfaces. It is really challenging to force cave men to use high tech. devices, because it is not in our nature. Because of the changes in our “tools” our body starts adopting itself to new tool.

For my thesis, I am planing to identify physiological reactions to technology. There are many things that we can research about in our body. So, I believe that some of the combinations might lead us to a better interaction.

I think best and most dangerous way to interact with devices is to use brain waves. I tried to made something called ‘what’s on your mind” last semester. It was a social network control device by using EEG data. It is really hard to calibrate EEg data for this purpose and also it is hard to see if it is a reliable data. So, that’s why I will be focusing on more reliable data.

One another reason that I am doing my thesis on this topic is, for me, inside the body and interaction is an unknown. So, I believe that exploring unconscious interaction will be meaningful.

Also, according to my findings, other way that I can go through is a t-shirt that displays your reactions to things around you. I think reason behind it, is a need of expressing myself. I like having short conversations, talking to the point. Sometimes, people are having problems to understand how my mind works. So, this might be a good device for me to get over these issues.

I believe that, in our body there are lot’s of things that we can discover for a better interaction with humans or machines. I am hoping to discover some of them through this semester.