FINAL PROJECT - IDEAS

When actively thinking about it, I’m struggling with coming up with ideas for my final project. The anticipation of everything I want it to be gets in the way of the creative process so I’m working on that. For now, here are some ideas that I have written down in my notebook since I started ITP that could potentially become the final project and hopefully even more. PLEASE NOTE: these are very vague at this point, I need to think about them more and consider the possible applications for them in order to address whether they are a good idea to pursue.

IDEA 1:

Yesterday at our Applications class, Dennis Crowley gave a talk on his experience while at ITP and his journey founding Foursquare and growing it. One advice he gave us that stuck with me was to pursue solutions for problems we have regardless of how silly the problem might be, ignoring things like “is there a need for this?”, “will anybody actually use it?”.

I love boxing in my free time (by any means professionally or even good haha - just for fun). In Panama, I had a trainer that used to practice pad work with me for 2 hours several times a week. When I started looking for a replacement in NY before moving I realized the costs here were triple the amount than back home. A friend suggested I join a group class and work on the bag but what I really enjoyed about my classes was the duality in the combinations and having to anticipate my trainers movements. So it got me thinking. I could probably count 3 or 4 combinations we used in every class, whether they were the same one after each other or they kept switching up was up to my trainer and for me to anticipate. So I thought it would be cool to build a padded “arm” that had let’s say 4 combinations as different events and a for loop that would pick randomly between this until it is set back to restart. The user would be able to control the speed (ideally) so that it was accessible to all levels and eventually (when I learn how to do it), I could incorporate an interface that would read your heart rate, calories burnt and track your performance.

IDEA 2:

Another talk that stood out to me was the amazing Joy Mountford and her presentation on her work with autonomous vehicles. I found it extremely interesting and inspiring, particularly the concept of computers imitating humans and her struggle achieving this through/with sound. This is something I would really like to research and explore and one of the main reasons I decided to pursue this program. I’m interested in knowing what part of our interactions do we single out as ‘human’, what aspects of it make it ‘human’ (she used expressive interjections as an example), how much can this interaction be replicated and how far can it be pushed.

A possible final project would be to develop a tool that explores one or more aspects of this interaction with the focus being on testing the limitations of computer interaction vs human and what feelings will this interaction evoke on the user, how comfortable or uncomfortable they feel and why.

Along these same lines, I would also like to explore the concept of fear in every day interactions/life and what role could technology play in helping overcome them.

I don’t really have an idea of how the final product for this would look like. I need to do research first and see what forms it takes from there but it is something I am really interested in pursuing, whether it is in this class or throughout my time at ITP.