Although the exploration of design alternatives is crucial for interaction designers and customization is required for end-users, the current development tools for physical computing devices have focused on single versions of an artifact.
We propose the parametric design of devices including their enclosure layouts and programs to address this issue. A Web-based design tool called f3.js is presented as an example implementation, which allows devices assembled from laser-cut panels with sensors and actuator modules to be parametrically created and customized.
It enables interaction designers to write code with dedicated APIs, declare parameters, and interactively tune them to produce the enclosure layouts and programs. It also provides a separate user interface for end-users that allows parameter tuning and dynamically generates instructions for device assembly. The parametric design approach and the tool were evaluated through two user studies with interaction designers, university students, and end-users.
DIS 2017 Demo Video
DIS 2017 Slides
Core concept: parametric design of devices
Parametric Design for Interaction Designers
Other figures showing the API usage and design patterns include: partial extrusion and line layout.
Videos of 17 applications
Explanations on the first 5 apps
- QuadBuzzer is a musical instrument with one to four buzzers. It is connected to a host PC and creates sound according to user operations on the host. The enclosure is centrosymmetrical with curves and the buzzers are placed with the Circle layout.
- Music Kiosk plays musical melodies in synchronicity with another computer that is playing a music video uploaded to YouTube. The device enclosure uses the Line layout to place four equally-spaced LEDs in line.
- Card Matching Game allows a user to choose a number of players from one or two and changes the number of printed controllers, as well as the available game modes.
- Rhythm Game on a Drum is an interactive game that utilizes a sound sensor to detect a hit on the drum, which is made of a hand-crafted case.
- Translator is an arm-mounted device that uses a Web-based translation API to translate text captured by a camera and presents the results on its LCD.
There are more interesting applications in the playlist, so please do not miss them.