DigiDoodle (2009)

Running Time: 1 minute 34 seconds

DigiDoodle is an interactive installation that encourages playful collaboration through virtual drawing. By engaging with two handcrafted physical interfaces (doodles) that are shaped like oversized crayons, viewers are able to create colourful images consisting of circles and blobs over a large floor projection. Sounds also fill the space in the form of bells and chimes as viewers interact with DigiDoodle, adding to the multi-sensory experience.

DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009)
DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009)

Conceptually, the installation not only advances the idea of collaboration through creation, but also seeks to challenge the traditional modes of human-computer interaction. By repurposing objects from everyday life such as tennis balls and water noodles, DigiDoodle affectively taps into the feeling of the familiar with its interface. Whereas computer mice, keyboards and touch screens all require some level of unnatural adaptation from human users to operate, DigiDoodle instead seeks to harness user comfort through a pleasingly tangible and intuitive experience.

development

DigiDoodle was developed over two phases during two years. The first stage started in the winter of 2008 as a group collaboration between me and two other students, Joyce Wong and Nicole Dempsey, for a cross-college interdisciplinary program titled ASTEC (Art and Science Technology Collaboration) between the Alberta College of Art + Design and the University of Calgary. The premise of the ASTEC program was to bring together artists and computer scientists to create from inception to completion a project of our own choosing over one semester (4 months). During this phase of DigiDoodle I played a key role in incubating ideas for the project as well as designing, prototyping and testing the physical interfaces. Some images from this initial planning and development can be seen below.

DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009)
DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009) DigiDoodle (2009)

Following the completion of the ASTEC program I carried DigiDoodle forward through a second phase of development primarily under my own direction. The video compilation above is a product of this effort. During this period I focused on redeveloping the doodle interfaces to be more functional as well as reprogramming the system software to run through the open source programming language and environment, Processing. DigiDoodle was my contribution to the Alberta College of Art + Design student graduation exhibition in May 2009.

technology

  • Processing
  • GlovePie
  • Hacked Bluetooth computer mice
  • Custom circuit drivers
  • wiiMote camera