(7 weeks, Q4, 1. year of IT, 2009)
This page is about a project made in the course IT PDP (Product Design Project).
Briefly about the project
MuMiT is an abbreviation for Multiple Users Multiple Interactions Table and is a digital multitouch table. MuMiT was developed in the IT PDP project which is the largest project on the 1. year of the IT education, covering 15 ECTS points. The theme for IT PDP 2009 was “Social Interactive Technologies in the Nightlife” and our domain was therefore limited to the city, in which we chose to focus on Cafes. We started the project with brainstorms and datacollection through questionnaires, observations and cultural probes. After that we had a large concept- and prototype development process which was ended by a user test and an exhibition. For the exhibition we also made a poster in order to explain and visualize the concept.
In addition to all that we also wrote a report about the project which can be read here. (it is unfortunately only in danish though)
Description of MuMiT
The goal with MuMiT is to promote social life on the Cafe and give a possibility for strangers to meet and have a common activity as well as a common goal.
MuMiT is a Cafe-/bartable on which you can play foosball in a standing position through an integrated multitouchscreen. The table is designed to be put together with other MuMiT tables. By connecting multiple tables a gamesession is started with three phases; login, minigame and the actual foosball game. The field of the ballgame is extended to all the connected tables, which means that the ball in the game can move from one table to another. Two competing teams are made, one on each side of the tables. In order to increase sociality we have taken several designchoices through the whole course of the game. The most important feature is that players are randomly paired with opponents and is shown a picture of that opponent by which the game encourages people to look at each other in order to locate their personal opponent.
The prototype tables’ physical parts was produced by us and the multitouch screen was also made by us. The majority of the software was written from the bottom by us, since we wanted to challenge ourselves and learn as much as possible from the project. On the feature list you can see the most important subjects that we implemented in the prototype in order to show and test the concept of MuMiT.
The physical implementation
The physical prototype table was made of wood and was a simple box so we could fit the necessary electronic components, such as a computer, a projector, plexiglass, a webcam and infrared diodes. The multitouchscreen is implemented by placing infrared diodes around the table’s edge, which lights up the whole plexiglass. When a player places a finger on the glass the infrared light’s reflection is broken on the surface of the plexiglass and the light is thereby directed down towards the webcam which tracks the light with an infrared filter. The videostream from the webcam is analyzed through a Java program which we wrote for the multitouchscreen, and touches on the surface can thereby be used as input for the game. Objects can likewise be used as input, which is seen on the picture to the left just below.
On the picture to the right is the final prototype in action in our final usertest.
In the course we were introduced to a new datacollectiontechnique called cultural probes. Cultural probes is objects which is given to end users through which they can express themselves creatively about thoughts/emotions/experiences in relation to the product or the context that the designer is developing in. In our project we made cultural probes which were handed out on Cafes. The users could then draw their dream Cafe decor in relation to the social life on a Cafe. The cultural probes also included a questionnaire disguised as a “personality-/Cafetypetest” in order to make it more interesting (which by the way worked really well since this kind of tests were very popular at the time, especially on Facebook).
The ending of the project
As the ending of the project the two prototype tables was shown at an open exhibition of IT PDP projects, and for that we made the poster which can be seen in the top of this page. Just below is a picture from that exhibiton.
If you wish to know more about MuMiT you can read the report from the project here or you are welcome to email us if you have any questions, or just don’t understand danish and wish to read the report.