"A tool for Makers to see what a prototype is seeing."

Understanding what a product is seeing of our physical world becomes harder to interpret, because they are increasing in complexity and interactivity. ProtoProbes is a hardware tool for Makerspaces to give designers, engineers and tinkerers real-time insights into the sensory data they work with. A web-based application visualizes the collected data. Makers can explore their data intuitively to see what their prototype is seeing. They can play with manipulations and alternative representations to tweak the senses of their product and unravel what their product could potentially be seeing. This project collaborated with several other parties to see how it fits other contexts: The Interactive Institute in Umeå, The Institute of Design in Umeå and MediaLab in Amsterdam.

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  • Feedback on collaboration with The Interactive Institute
    from Jeroen Peeters, supervisor

    The two main tasks carried out by the trainee were the independent development of his graduation project, through and with the help of two surroundings contexts: the Umeå Studio of Interactive Institute Swedish ICT and Umeå Institute of Design IxD program. The trainee executed these tasks in exemplary fashion, pro-active, determined and with high quality results. An additional task was to be an active member of the studio's design team, which was also fulfilled beyond expectation.

    The main learning outcomes relate to the professional development / "soft skills" of the trainee, to function independently and in a self-driven project, undertaken within an international design research environment. In this case, two environments, a academic and not-for-profit research institute. The trainee was able to function well in both an educational and research setting, showing and developing his skills in organising, communication, teaching, and concept/research direction development. The trainee showed great awareness of his own work and skillset, within the wider picture of different organisations.

    Pepijn's clear self-driven attitude and design skills on the technical side were what sparked our initial interest. His time with us revealed a much wider skilled individual with impressive breadth his abilities. Pepijn is very aware of his own strengths and weaknesses, and has the communication abilities to navigate between them towards his own and other's goals. He functions very well as an independent, but is aware and able to ask for help when necessary. Very well done!

  • Feedback on collaboration with Institute of Design
    from Rickard Åström, Interaction Lab

    My name is Rickard Åström and I run the interaction Lab of Umeå Institute of Design. We have had the pleasure of spending some time with Pepijn Verburg over the last weeks. He started with conducting a workshop using his project prototype with some of the degree students of the interaction program.

    What I think started as an introduction into the hardware and visual output he designed turned into a more general discussion around what output different sensors have, how to illustrate them and what you can do with the readings to be able to use the output in a meaningful way with a planned design-output.

    He took this further in a presentation that was open to interested parties in the school in general, and I think this opened some eyes for some of the less tech-oriented students. I'm hoping this will make some students talk less about "sensors" in general and magic terms and perhaps instead think of what it is they are saying is measured in their design.

    Pepijn has also spent some time with individual students looking at their projects and showed a pleasant interest in the project and giving feedback here and there. Something that is much appreciated since Pepijn is showing a deep understanding of tech, still not easy to come by in design education.

    For now, Pepijns' project is a nice generic tool to get readings visible, but as he claims he wants to move away from graphs, that seems to still be most informative visual. The best option for him, I think, is to now see this tool as something to educate non-techie people. Perhaps allow the output GUI to have more information about the sensor one connects, perhaps give picture indications of what the values mean.

    One strong part of the project is the buttons in the GUI that offers mathematical alterations to the readings, a library of those with some extra information, could be an amazing way in to introduce those very subjects to people who have no previous knowledge of this.

    We wish Pepijn the best of luck and hope to collaborate more in the future!

With the vast amount of music instantly available (e.g. Spotify, Deezer or iTunes) it is hard to keep track of what music you have enjoyed in the past. Olly is a tangible music player that replays random songs from the past by queuing them in the far future. It might even take years before a certain song will emerge, making it a true piece of slow technology. Watch the video to the right if you want to see how Olly works! A high-end prototype connected to Spotify is built to do in-the-field research the coming months in collaboration with Simon Fraser University about how such artefacts fit everyday life. "Your quality of deliverables was excellent. In particular, your presentation met and exceeded the expectations of the module. The conceptual resolution and sophistication of the project was very impressive." - Ron Wakkary

Lassie is a custom-built administration system for study associations to process member information, transactions, events, memberships, etc. A growing number of associations are using it. Lassie is very much intertwined in the Department of Industrial Design handling hundreds of transactions every day for the electronics store, office supply store and bar. Lassie is unique in a way that it accepts the ever-changing environment of an association. It can quickly adapt to new functionalities and old ones can be removed in minutes through an advanced modular system.

PHIL visualizes your immune system, a rather intangible concept of health. Different types of data points are collected through your smartphone and merged into one coherent visual. You can go through a hyper lapse of all your measurements to see how your immune system has developed over time relative to each other. The goal was to design a data-driven app where relativeness is more important than the absolute values.

For an optimal performance while running it's important to breathe in a certain ratio in comparison to the steps you take. RunnersRatio is a decentralized system for runners to keep track of this. The device gives you feedback about your ratio by comparing it real-time with the other people you are running with. One of the goals is to explore the social relations that emerge when analysing and presenting group data on-the-go instead of afterwards. "Excellent result. Fully functional and testable even in complex field situations. Especially the self-calibration process is (altough conceptually quite complex) implemented in an elegant manner." - Aarnout Brombacher

Abe is a wonderful lighting solution. However, he has one problem: he is addicted to attention. Abe is an exploration to create a lamp with a true personality that communicates with other products without any well-defined data protocols. A combination of multiple algorithms create a rather unpredictable behaviour. The result is a highly responsive lamp that craves for attention once in a while.

Shape-changing interfaces aim to get closer to the physical world by using deformation to express specific digital information. This research project, done in 2014, investigates what effect auditory information has on the perception of material properties within these interfaces. The ultimate goal is to define a new way for shape-changing interfaces to change how they are perceived. For example, an artefact can change how brittle it feels like by slightly adjusting its deformation and auditory information.

showcase - BSc. Pepijn Verburg - master's program - Industrial Design - University of Technology Eindhoven - copyright 2023