This year Google launched Android Experiments - a showcase of creative and and inspiring projects on Android from the developer community. Android Experiments is an open invitation for developers everywhere to submit their own work to the collection; these experiments are then documented on the platform website, and made open source to inspire others. 

We designed a physical installation with the goal of bringing the platform and select Android Experiments to life in physical, interactive environments. The goal of the installation was to introduce attendees to Android Experiments, celebrate the developers behind the work, and encourage attendees to rethink the possibilities of the platform.

I was tasked with the ideation and execution of the physical installation for the project that would invite and enable others to play with, and explore the experiments. I had the opportunity to carry our idea to fruition, and to challenge myself to create new interfaces and methods for interaction that would not only enhance the experience, but clarify the functionality of the experiments running on watches, tablets, and phones. To build the project we partnered with Deeplocal, who custom engineered parts and leveraged off-the-shelf components to create the kinetic user experiences for eight Android Experiments.

This project also posed interesting questions: How do you design the form of a physical object so its functionality is intuitive? How do you design objects that teach users how to use new interfaces by engraining that learning experience into the object’s form and technologies? I learned how to lead a user through an experience by designing affordances into forms and materials that make functionality intuitive. Each contraption took advantage of different sensors built into each device, including the gyro, the accelerometer, and the camera. We installed the project and watched over 300 visitors successfully interact with the installation.

Video coming soon.

IOIO Plotter is an interactive pen plotter. A portrait is taking using the camera on the Android phone. An algorithm is then run on the image that converts it into a vector line drawing. The phone then sends the drawings to the IOIO micro-controller, which communicates with the motors to triangulate the position of the pen on the paper and draw a portrait.  

The plotter has been used to create over 500 hand drawn portraits. Each takes about three minutes to complete.
 

Portraits.jpg

Grove is an interactive game that procedurally generates landscapes for users to explore. For this experiment we built a four-axis arm that held the tablet and allowed users to fully explore the landscape.

Tunnel Vision is a time-lapse video filter experience that creates beautiful visualizations by coupling live footage of the user, movement and time. 

Ink Space, an experiment developed by Zach Liberman, allows users to draw in 3D space. For this experiment we paired virtual rotational axis of the experiment with a physical ball joint that allows the tablet to freely rotate about a fixed point.

Elements, is a pattern-making machine. It uses live color data from the device’s camera and drawings created by the user touching the screen to create a live visualization. We built a system of counterweights to float the tablet above a large gradient print. 

Production Lead: Suzanne Chambers
Creative Lead: Richard The
Team Lead: Lauren Solomon
Industrial Design: Isaac Blankensmith
Graphic Design: Andrew Herzog
Engineering and Fabrication: Deeplocal