This week, students in Michael Gurevich’s Interactive Media Design course (PAT 451) and Sile O’Modhrain’s Engineering Applications of Media Technology course (PAT 511) presented their final projects. Each project was intended to be a game involving both digital and physical components. It was necessary to arrange DL1 as an open demonstration space, so that visitors could float from project to project without necessarily hearing formal presentations.
We’ve been watching Design Lab 1 consultant Peter Littlejohn construct his PAT 451 project over the last several days, and it has really come together. Peter has created what he calls “Groove Tennis,” a multiplayer game combining the standard scoring rules of tennis with music and rhythmic cues. Each player scores as they normally would in tennis, but they have the opportunity to score bonus points if they hit the tennis ball in time with the beat of the music. Additionally, the player is expected to step on a highlighted pad on the floor, and they will not score properly if they step on the wrong pad. Peter accomplished all this by projecting his tennis court onto the floor and implementing several pressure sensors.
Another student in PAT 511 reimagined a household mirror as something even more practical: a health monitor. They used rear projection, TouchDesigner, and an activity tracker to allow users to approach the “mirror” (really a fabric screen) and see their heart rate, number of steps taken, number of calories burned, and the amount of sleep they got the night before—all depending on what part of their body they touched! (For example: touch your feet to see the number of steps you took.)
Yet another student used a Kinect to create a version of Tetris that you play with your whole body.
We look forward to seeing Michael Gurevich’s students next semester as they work through PAT 452 in Design Lab 1! It is always so interesting to watch their projects unfold.