Thursday, 22 January 2015

Design Iterations - Face Tracking Project

Face Tracking Project - 7 

Yesterday was the day which I tested me installation within the space. Going into testing in the space I had wanted to fix the problem of the particles disappearing when the circle disappeared, however this was not able to be fixed, but despite this I was hopeful that everything would work fine seeing as testing at home had worked fine. 

The screens which the installation was being placed on. 

Unfortunately the test within the space did not go as well as I liked. I had encountered a number of problems, which could have been avoided. The main problem that I encountered was that I was expecting there to be more powerful cameras available for the test, however there was not. This meant that I was having to use the camera on my laptop. This would not have been a huge problem but due to where I was having to place the laptop the angle of the camera did not help me. The availability of other cameras is something that I should have looked into before conducting the test, because a more powerful web cam, or an Xbox Kinect, positioned above the TV could have aided in the system being able to pick up the users face, because as seen in the image below users were having to go close to the camera for it to pic them up.

Another problem that I encountered was a design issue. This issue is that despite the black background looking good when the other aspects of the installation are in use, when the installation has not picked anybody up and there is nothing on the screen the black background did make it look as if the screen was turned of. This meant that people were simply walking past it as there was nothing drawing them to it, until a face was picked up and the installation appeared. Although at the time when making the installation the black background seemed like a very insignificant part of it, it has been a good lesson that every part of a design, despite how small a piece it may seem, is important to the overall finish of the product. 

However despite the negatives there was with the installation, there were some positives as well. One being that when the installation was working and people were able to use it people did seem to enjoy using it and making this object move around the environment. Also the fact that more than one person could use it at a time also made the installation more of a community product, which meant that groups of people could use it. 

Overall this test has been a very good learning curve for me. It has shown me first the importance of knowing what equipment will be available within the space for the installation. Secondly it has taught me that before anything if put out to "production" it does need to be throughly tested in that environment. And lastly it has taught me the importance of all aspects of design, because even a little aspect such as background can make the installation seem as if it not working. 

Although I do not have time now to put the installation back in the space I will make some changes to the installation and test it with a more powerful camera to see if that improves the overall functionality of the work. 

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